Link to article
mussel soup

Course: Entree | Beer Style: Witbier

Mussel Soup with Wheat Beer and Star Anise

John, a chef and blogger living in Rome, Italy, shares his recipe for a rich mussel soup. Recreate this recipe with your favorite American wheat ale and serve with your favorite local bread.

Share Post

Prep Time: 30 minutes | Yield: 4


2 lbs mussels
  • 3 shallots or 1/2 onion
  • 1 stalk celery
  • A small piece of fennel
  • A small carrot
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 generous Tbsp butter 
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1 star anise
  • 1/2 bottle wheat beer 
  • Marjoram or oregano
  • sumac (if available)

  • Directions

    1. Clean the mussels by rinsing them under cold water, scrubbing them and removing the “beard”. Make sure to throw away any mussels that are open (and won´t close if you tap them hard), broken or damaged in any way.
    2. Start by chopping all the vegetables except the garlic into very small pieces.
    3. Peel the garlic cloves and lightly crush them. Put the vegetables in a pan together with the butter, bay leaf, sprig of marjoram/oregano and the garlic.
    4. Cook over medium-low heat for a couple of minutes until soft but not brown. Add the mussels. Add 6.5 ounces of water, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the mussels have opened (about 5-6 minutes). Discard any mussels that remain closed.
    5. Strain the liquid into a saucepan, add the milk and the star anise. Boil gently for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, discard the star anise and then add the witbier. Add salt to taste.
    6. Arrange the mussels in serving bowls, mix the soup with an immersion blender to create a nice froth and then pour it over the mussels. Pick some leaves of marjoram/oregano and put them on each plate. Finally sprinkle a small amount of sumac on top.
    7. At my house the soup is served with rye sourdough grissini, but any good bread would work just fine!
    8. See John's original post.

    Suggested Recipes

    Link to article
    beer braised pork recipe


    Beer Braised Pork Belly with California Common

    In the Smylie Brothers kitchen we primarily use our flagship beers in our dishes. We use the Cali common in the braising liquid for the pork belly in addition to chicken stock, then after the bellies are tender we add more beer and thicken the liquid to create a rich gravy. As we make everything from scratch, we treat our raw ingredients with a lot of care and respect. The pork belly that we get from George Rasmussen at Swan Creek Farm in Colon, Michigan, is a good example of this. George takes our spent grain from the brewing process back to feed his pigs and we buy that pork from him.

    Read More
    Link to article
    Allagash Curieux Pears with White Chocolate and Raspberries


    Allagash Curieux Pears with White Chocolate and Raspberries

    Each year, Allagash Brewing Co. holds a cooking contest at the Institute for Culinary Education in New York as a way to further the awareness of both pairing and cooking fine foods with beers like Allagash. This recipe for Allagash Curieux Pears with White Chocolate and Raspberries comes to us by way of ICE student Diego Ruiz Brugman, runner-up in the 2009 Allagash Brewing Recipe Contest.

    Read More