Mussels and Artichoke Chowder Recipe

Mussels and Artichoke Chowder

Soup des Moules et Artichauts, one of my favorite seafood recipes from the South of France.  Here in the US, Trader Joe’s frozen artichokes are my choice. They are the closest you can get to fresh artichokes. They are flash-frozen individually and come loose in the bag. No waiting for them to thaw. Just warm them up for a few minutes.

Yield: 4 servings

Time: 30 minutes


  • 6-12 mussels per person depending on the size, cleaned and purged
  • 1 cup (240 ml) dry white wine
  • 1 1/2 cups (355 ml) water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 flat-leaf parsley twig
  • 5 peppercorns
  • 2 cups (500 ml) fish stock
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups (210 g) onions, chopped
  • 1 cup (230 g) potatoes, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup (70 g) carrots, finely diced
  • 12 artichoke hearts, cut into quarters
  • 1 fresh thyme twig or a 1/4 tsp dried thyme leaves
  • 1/4 tsp ground mace
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) light cream


Most mussels you buy from your fishmonger or in the supermarket are already purged. You might need to clean the shells a bit. In case you buy fresh mussels at a seafood stand you most likely have to purge them, the easy procedure is explained here.

Add white wine, water, onion, bay leaf, parsley, salt and peppercorns to a large pot. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add mussels and reduce the heat to a rapid simmer. Cover the pot tightly. Steam the mussels for about 10 minutes or until they are opened shaking the pot a few times. Transfer the open mussels to a bowl, discard any mussels which did not open. Strain the wine-mussel liquid and add to the fish stock. Set aside.

In a separate saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat and sauté the remaining chopped onions until they are soft about 5 minutes. Add the potatoes, carrots, thyme, and mace. Cook stirring for 5 minutes longer. Add the mussel/fish stock to the vegetables  Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes longer or until vegetables are soft. Add thawed artichoke hearts. Taste for salt and pepper.

In the meantime remove the mussels’ top shell. Set aside, they will not be added to the chowder until the last minute.  Catch any juice left from the mussels and add them to the vegetable chowder.

 Add the cream and heat over a low flame until warmed through – about 5 minutes.

Serve chowder in soup plates and arrange reserved mussels in their half shells and artichoke quarters over the chowder.

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