Coconut Milk Mussel Soup — Soupe de moules au lait de coco

Coconut Milk Mussel Soup

Did you remember too? It’s officially fall. And oh oh, how excited I am! I mean, I could feel sorry that we say good bye to the longest sunny days of the year; there will no longer be any seasonal strawberries or red currants; I will have to wait until next year to find my favorite round zucchinis to stuff and rhubarb to stew. But no.

I do not feel sorry because I love seasons, with the passage of one to another. I love the fall!

The fall and its wonderful fresh produce. There is something magical about it, don’t you think?

With the fall, I want to think about winter squash — like potimarron (Hokkaido squash), by far one of my favorites — root vegetables like céleri rave (celeriac) and beets, a walk in the forest to hear colorful fallen leaves rustle under my footsteps, starting the day with a veil of fog in the countryside or by the seaside, buying tasty mushrooms to boost my cooking creativity, baking when it feels somewhat a little chilly outside, sipping a cup of steaming hot chocolate by the fireplace, generous gratins to share with loved ones — and soups. Oh lovely comforting soups to warm us up. These are all things to love, really.

So I made a soup.

My mum is the one who taught me that shellfish (les fruits de la mer, literally the fruit of the sea), like mussels or oysters, should be eaten during les mois en “r” (the months in “r”). September, October, November, December would be the best months indeed. She reminded me of this when I saw her last week, and since I had a craving for mussels, I decided to make a soup that is a favorite amongst us for its simple generous taste.

This mussel soup uses white wine like in the preparation of moules marinières, coconut milk for smoothness, saffron and turmeric for taste and color. It’s easy to prepare and flexible: if you are short of time, it can be made a few hours ahead, and reheated at the last minute. A nice thing to keep in mind. In fact, the only piece of work is perhaps cleaning the mussels, but that again is no rocket science either.

And the rest, of course, follows naturally. It does not require any recipe.

P. and I ate one large bowl each last night, with roasted potatoes and a lovely loaf of rustic bread.

We were pleased to be where we were, at this time of year. Because Indian summers in New England are quite special.

The best transition to the fall.

Coconut Milk Mussel Soup

For 2 large bowls, or 4 small ones (appetizer portions)

You need:

  • 4.5 pounds fresh mussels, brushed and cleaned from all the sand, (opened ones discarded)
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 shallot, chopped finely
  • 1 celery branch, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and grated finely
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 thyme twig
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • Fresh parsley
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1/4 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 dose saffron (0.0008 oz)
  • Salt and pepper


  • In a large stockpot, heat 1 Tbsp butter on medium heat.
  • Cook the shallot and celery without browning for 1 to 2 minutes, then add the garlic with thyme and bay leaf, and continue to cook for 1 minute.
  • Add the mussels and white wine, with a bunch of parsley. Season with salt and pepper and cook on high heat, covered until all the mussels are open (about 4 to 5 minutes). Toss from time time. Discard all mussels that are not open.
  • Remove the mussels from the pot and set aside. Filter the juice.
  • Shell the mussels (keep 1/3 with the shells). In the stockpot, pour the juice again and add the coconut milk, saffron and turmeric and heat to reach a simmer — try to avoid boiling.
  • Add the mussels and keep warm. Serve with fresh parsley in bowls, and accompany with a tasty loaf of rustic bread — for the sauce, of course.
Le coin français
Soupe de moules au lait de coco

Pour 2 grands bols, ou 4 petits (portion entrée)

Ingrédients :

  • 2 kgs de moules fraiches, brossées et débarrassées de traces de sable (jetez celles qui sont déjà ouvertes)
  • 15 g de beurre
  • 1 échalote, hachée finement
  • 1 branche de céleri, coupée en dés
  • 1 gousse d’aïl, pelée et râpée finement
  • 1 feuille de laurier
  • 1 brin de thym
  • 120 ml de vin blanc sec
  • Bouquet de persil
  • 250 ml de lait de coco non sucré
  • 1/4 càc de curcuma en poudre
  • 1 dose de safran (0.25 g)
  • Sel et poivre

Etapes :

  • Dans un grand faitout, faites fondre 15 g de beurre sur feu moyen.
  • Faites suer l’échalote et le céleri sans brunir pendant 1 à 2 minutes, puis ajouter l’aïl, le thym et la feuille de laurier pendant 1 minute supplémentaire.
  • Ajoutez les moules et le vin blanc avec un beau bouquet de persil. Assaisonnez de sel et de poivre, couvrez et faites cuire sur feu fort jusqu’à ce que les moules soient toutes ouvertes (environ 4 à 5 minutes). Mélangez de temps à autre. Jetez celles qui ne sont pas ouvertes.
  • Retirez les moules du faitout et réservez. Filtrez le jus.
  • Décoquillez les moules (gardez 1/3 avec leurs coquilles). Versez à nouveau le jus dans le faitout, et ajoutez la lait de coco, le safran, le curcuma et amenez au premier point d’ébullition sans faire bouillir.
  • Ajoutez les moules et gardez au chaud. Servez dans de grands bols avec du persil ciselé et un bon pain (pour saucer) en accompagnement.
Posted in Appetizers, Fish, Gluten Free, Soup


  1. comme ces photos sont belles! j’ai eu quelquchose comme celle-ci a une resto belique et maintent je peux le faire moi-meme! merci pour ca!

  2. It’s funny because my mother thaught me the “R” rule about les fruits de mer as well 🙂 It’s the best way to remember it.

  3. Beatrice, I just discovered your website/blog and I added you to my favorites because, as a “foodie” myself, I love love love your recipe ideas and the foods you prepare…I’ve been drooling over this poor keyboard for the last couple of days! but because your photos are so inviting, could you tell me what camera lenses/lights you use to get so much sharpness and perfect colors? They’re amazing! I love your work.

  4. I am so excited about fall too bea. your photos are full of light and color… just stunning as always

  5. Yes, yes! Three cheers for autumn! Welcome home, Béa.

  6. Ah oui! L’automne! On l’imagine plus qu’autre chose ici mais ca fait du bien de se mettre dans l’ambiance avec une belle soupe! Ici c’est un coin a huitres et la saison de la peche a la crevette a recemment commence. On va chercher le diner au ponton!!

  7. Super! Je cherchais une nouvelle recette de moules, on adore ca. Avec du lait de coco en plus…. Merci, je le ferai bientot!!

  8. I had the same sentiments B, so I made cassoulet (and it is hot in the Bay Area right now). Your moules look delectable.


  9. Même s’il n’est que 9 h du matin, cette petite soupe fait très envie… surtout que le froid commence a arriver…

  10. Thank you Béa, grazie di cuore! Since I added your site to my favourites, I haven’t been able to stop getting inspired by you: your pictures, your thoughts and your recipes. Also, thanks to your recipes, my husband and my little daughter have become enthusiastic fans of yours.

  11. Je n’ai pas mangé de moules depuis notre arrivée au Québec, il y a un an et demi. J’espère bien en faire une cure lorsque nous irons sur la côte américaine un de ces jours. La couleur de ta soupe me rappelle celle de la mouclade que ma mère fait si bien !

  12. I marvel at how your posts never fail to astound me! Breathtaking photos and layout, as always. This soup (which i cannot wait to try for myself, as it looks simply delicious) reminded me of one that we made here not so long ago, but we paired coconut with autumn’s bounty of red peppers – yum! You can see the recipe here:
    Looking forward to see what you dream up next, Béa!

    -Anastasia from Kitchen Caravan

  13. Ben oui, c’est d’une telle évidence cette association;) Mais fallait y penser, et là est le génie!!! Alors je te dis bravo et merci pour cette recette certainement délicieuse et que je vais tester de toute urgence.

  14. I love your stories..and the beautiful pictures. It makes me so homesick for my home and my parents who are no longer with me.
    I am curious..would answer any of the comments when we have questions ?

  15. Thank you so much, once again, everyone. Of course questions are welcomed, and answered. I am sorry I am not really able to answer each of your comment individually at the moment, but I will do my best.

  16. Hi Bea!
    I just took a seafood/shellfish class and our team made mussels in white wine. coconut milk and saffron sounds like a terrific ingredient for it.
    Oh and the months ending with R is partly true. This is because in the summer months when the waters from New Jersey down to the gulf and on the pacific coast too gets warm the shellfish ingest something toxic. But the waters up in Canada and the pacific northwest are still relatively cold so the shellfish from here are perfectly good to eat – this is what our chef-instructor told us.

  17. ..I wish I could say how delicious the mussels were in French, Ms. Beatrice! The coconut milk was delightful alternative to typical heavy-handed Italian white wine & garlic treatment one gets in my home town. I shall certainly continue to peruse this website on regular basis from now on; the photographs do as much to stimulate my senses as your commentary…I don’t know “you”, but you make it easy to understand how you delight in all aspects of food!

  18. Coconut and saffron? I love both. What a wonderful idea. The soups sounds delightful. I will definitely try it. Thanks for the recipe!

  19. I like the sound of “lait de coco” 🙂
    What a cute wicker basket for the little ramekins 🙂

  20. Your food photos always make me hungry and your travel photos make me long to travel!

  21. Fait ce weekend et c’etait excellent!! Une super recette, vraiment, je la referai (on les a accompagnes de pommes de terre, pain, et vin blanc Alsacien).

  22. So colorful! The soup & fall in Vermont. Foliage season is here… It is a true delight to take a hike and enjoy a picnic made from fresh local produce to enjoy from the top of our local mountains. It’s an ocean of colors! Red, gold, green, orange, amber, yellow… This last Sunday the hike was at Okemo and a grilled cheese portobello sandwich in sourdough bread from Green Market Acres. Yum!

    The Pontilists

  23. Superbe recette et photos sublimes.
    Je pourrais d’ailleurs inscrire ce comm un peu partout sur ce blog, quel talent! Merci de le partager en ligne!

  24. Pingback: The King in the Kitchen « King of the Nerds!!!

  25. Pingback: Cravings and CSAs « Il Bel Far Niente

  26. Love this blog! What fun but why is still saying FALL? Confused.

  27. Valerie Hoffman Florida Valerie Hoffman Maine
    Terrific mussel recipe-love the addition of coconut milk-yum!

  28. valerie hoffman maine valerie hoffman florida

    Great work! I met you when we were donating to the animal rescue dog walk-xx

  29. valerie hoffman maine valerie hoffman florida
    Love this site! Val made this on the Today Show, it was great!

  30. I’m so glad that you mentioned the rule of eating mussels during the months containing an ‘r’. My mother told me the same thing and I just happened to be sitting here thinking, ‘Now did she say to eat it with the months with an ‘r’ or was it the other way around?’ I swear I do listen. I’m just a bit forgetful 😉

  31. Pingback: Coconut Milk Mussel Soup

  32. Pingback: Cravings and CSAs

  33. Pingback: Tami’s Tips: 10 Brain-Healthy Fish You Should be Eating More Of – MealEnders