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Provencal Soup with Mussels – Soupe de Moules

The founders of Remember Provence spend their days (and nights) finding authentic, artisanal products from the region. In their limited spare time, the Beriot family loves nothing more than cooking traditional Provencal recipes and sharing the results with friends. The following recipe for Provencal Soup with Mussels or la Soupe de Moules comes from their sunny kitchen in the South of France. If you like moules frites, you will love this soup.

Get your copy of the Remember Provence e-book with ten (10) traditional Provencal recipes here.

Provencal Soup with Mussels - Soupe de Moules

Provencal Mussel Soup - La Soupe de Moules

Like most soup recipes this one is not complicated. You can make the rouille in advance to save some time. Enjoy as a first course or as a light lunch.
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Soup
Cuisine French, Provencal
Servings 6 people


Ingredients for the Soup:

  • 2 kg (4.4 lbs) Mussels
  • 2 Leeks
  • 1 onion
  • 3 Garlic Cloves
  • 1 can Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp Tomato paste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tbsp Dried Fennel or a large dried fennel branch
  • olive oil
  • 1 g (1/2 tsp) saffron
  • Salt and White pepper

Ingredients for the Rouille:

  • 1 piece Stale Bread soaked in milk
  • 1 Egg Yolk
  • 1 Garlic Clove
  • 200 ml (6.5 oz) olive oil
  • a pinch of Cayenne Pepper Powder

For the Topping:

  • 1 French "ficelle" (thin baguette bread)
  • 150 g (5.5 oz) Grated Cheese


Preparation of the Soup:

  • Wash the mussels very well with water and remove any barnacles.
  • In a large cooking pot, put the mussels in water and heat. Wait until they open and stop the heat. Be careful not to overcook the mussels. Take the mussels out, remove shells and set aside.
  • Keep the cooking water.
  • Chop the onion, leeks and garlic. Saute onion and leek in olive oil in a pan with high edges. Reduce the heat.
  • Add tomato paste and garlic, and stir. Wet the mixture with the reserved cooking water from the mussels, add fennel, bay leaf, and a pinch of saffron, season (not to much salt) and bring to boil.
  • Meanwhile, chop a handful of mussels and add them to the broth. Allow the soup to absorb the flavour and aroma from the mussels (about 10 minutes).

Preparation of the rouille:

  • Remove the bread from the soaking liquid and discard the milk.
  • Tear the bread into large pieces and pound with a garlic clove in a mortar with a pestle until you get a paste.
  • Stir in egg yolk, then add some olive oil, stirring constantly to build the rouille.
  • Add more olive oil, then add 200ml (6.5 oz) of the mussel soup and stir again.
  • When the paste becomes the consistency of a mayonnaise, season with salt, pepper and a pinch of cayenne pepper powder.

Serving Presentation:

  • Slice the bread into thin rounds, rub with garlic and grill lightly to create crostini.
  • Pour the soup into a soup tureen after placing the rest of the mussels. Serve in soup plates.
  • Put the grilled croutons rubbed with garlic, rouille and grated cheese in separate bowls. Each guest may add croutons, rouille and cheese to their taste.
Keyword Mussels, Soups
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

More Recipes from the Remember Provence Kitchen:

Provencal Lamb Stew Daube with White Wine

Provencal Daube Lamb Stew with Côte du Rhône Wine

And why not complete the picture with a bit of Art de la Table – Provencal Fabrics for Easy Entertaining?

Provencal Fabrics Easy Entertaining colorful-tablecloths-cotton-printed-calissons

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Carolyne Kauser-Abbott

Carolyne Kauser-Abbott

With her camera and laptop close at hand, Carolyne has traded in her business suits for the world of freelance writing and blogging. Her first airplane ride at six months of age was her introduction to the exciting world of travel.

While in Provence, Carolyne can be found hiking with friends, riding the hills around the Alpilles or tackling Mont Ventoux. Her attachment to the region resonates in Perfectly Provence this digital magazine that she launched in 2014. This website is an opportunity to explore the best of the Mediterranean lifestyle (food & wine, places to stay, expat stories, books on the region, travel tips, real estate tips and more), through our contributors' articles.

Carolyne writes a food and travel blog Ginger and Nutmeg. Carolyne’s freelance articles can be found in Global Living Magazine, Avenue Magazine and City Palate (Published Travel Articles).


  1. blank
    May 20, 2020 at 6:01 am — Reply

    Can you make this with other kinds of seafood? Prawns and fish for example?


    • blank
      May 20, 2020 at 7:08 am — Reply

      Hello, yes that soup recipe is quite versatile. The soup broth works well with shrimp, clams, scallops or even cod. Enjoy the tastes of Provence. If you are interested in our Newsletter please sign-up for more great recipes.

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