This spicy mussel soup is a light and refreshing soup with a delicious, yet distinct flavor, that is surprisingly easy to make!
If you haven’t eaten mussels before, you’re in for a treat! You might think mussels are just something you order at a restaurant but they are remarkably easy to make and budget-friendly.
Mussels are mild-tasting and really soak up flavors nicely. They are slightly chewy and have a really unique, briny flavor which I absolutely love!
Are mussels keto-friendly?
Yes, they are but you need to be mindful of portions. Mussels are slightly higher in carbs than most other seafood.
However, the portions in this recipe are low in carbs and you can even enjoy more if you have not met your carb count for the day.
- Mussels: I use a pound of mussels and get them from my local grocery store. I buy them alive and they can be stored in the fridge for a day or two before I cook. To ensure your mussels are alive and fresh, they should be completely closed.
- Vegetables and herbs: Onions, garlic, ginger, and parsley to garnish. These aromatics make all the difference and give the mussel soup a pleasant and delightful flavor.
- Spices: smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, bouillon powder. You don’t really need to add salt because mussels are quite salty on their own.
- Olive oil and water/stock.
How do I clean and de-beard mussels?
Many stores sell mussels that have already been cleaned with the beard removed but sometimes a few pieces still have the beard on them.
The beard is the strange-looking thing that sticks out of the side of the mussel and looks like hair. It is not harmful but no-one wants to feel like they're eating hair. So, out it goes!
Wash the mussels under running water, scrubbing it as you go to remove any debris. Check them one by one to ensure they are all closed.
If one is slightly open and you pinch it shut, if it stays shut, it’s alive. But if it opens back up immediately, it’s dead, so trash it.
It’s safer to only eat live mussels because if it is already dead, you have no way of knowing how long it has been dead.
To remove the beard, pinch it between your thumb and finger and tug up and down while pulling straight out.
Sometimes it comes out easily and sometimes it seems you’re in a tug of war with the mussel! I have large fingers and when my hands are wet, I find it hard to grasp the beard.
So I use a small piece of paper towel to yank it out. Luckily, the majority of the mussels will not have beards on them, so it’s just a few I have to wrestle with!
How to make Spicy Mussel Soup
First clean and de-beard the mussels using the steps outlined above. Make sure mussels are closed and discard any that are open.
Chop the onions and ginger and mince the garlic. The ginger should be very finely chopped.
Pour olive oil in a wide pot and when heated, add the onions, garlic, and ginger. Stir for a few minutes till fragrant.
Add water or stock, then add the spices. Depending on how flavorful your stock it, add the bouillon powder last because you don’t want it to be too salty.
Bring to a boil and let it boil for about 5 more minutes. Then turn the stove to high heat, add the mussels and cover the pot.
The pot needs to remain covered to ensure the high heat will cause the mussels to open up and the tender meat inside will soak up the flavors.
It does not take very long for the mussels to open so check after roughly 3 minutes. If not all are open, shake the pot gently and give it a few more minutes.
Turn off the heat and discard any mussels that refuse to open. Garnish with parsley and serve.
Your delicious and spicy mussel soup is ready to eat!
This mussel soup serves 4 and each serving is 6 net carbs. It keeps well in the fridge for 2-3 days.
What can I eat Mussel Soup with?
I love to use some low carb bread to soak up this soup. It is a match made in heaven!
Tips when making Spicy Mussel Soup
Make sure all the mussels are closed before you cook, and that they are open after you cook.
Add the bouillon powder last after tasting for salt. Mussels are naturally salty so you want to make sure the soup does not end up too salty.
You can reduce the cayenne pepper if you want it less spicy.
Enjoy these other low carb fish and seafood soups!
Spicy Mussel Soup
- Wash the mussels under running water thoroughly.
- Remove the beard if any (the hair sticking out).
- Make sure mussels are closed and discard any that is open.
- Chop onions and ginger and mince the garlic.
- Pour olive oil in a wide pot and when heated, add onions, garlic, and ginger.
- Stir for a few minutes till fragrant.
- Add water/stock and spices.
- Bring to a boil and let it boil for about 5 more minutes.
- Turn the stove to high heat, add mussels, and cover the pot.
- After roughly 3 minutes, check that all are open.
- If some are still closed, gently shake the pot and wait 2 more minutes.
- Remove from the stove and discard any still closed.
- Garnish with parsley or herb of choice and serve!
- Make sure all the mussels are closed before you cook, and that they are open after you cook.
- Add the bouillon powder last after tasting for salt. Mussels are naturally salty so you want to make sure the soup does not end up too salty.
- You can reduce the cayenne pepper if you want it less spicy.