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Lyon, France: My Easy Seafood Soup

Updated on June 11, 2015

Fresh Seafood = Tasty Soup!


Also from this Author (the female protagonist in this novel was born in Lyon)

How to Select & Clean Mussels

Fish Head for Making Stock

Easy & Delicious


My EASY Soupe de Mer (Seafood Soup) Recipe

Lyon has some wonderful restaurants that specialize in seafood. Fresh fish and shellfish are sold in the outside markets as well as inside many fish shops known as poissonnier.

I decided to visit the poissonnier up the street since he always has an array of fresh seafood on display. My French is getting better now that I've been here for a month (meaning that I am getting my point across). I explained that I wanted to cuisiner la soupe pour mon mari (cook soup for my husband)- which I am sure is not grammatically correct but he said, "Ah! Soupe de mer!" And I replied, "Oui, oui!" (thrilled that he understood).

I did manage to ask for what I wanted by name in correct French: moules (mussels), crevettes (shrimp) and filet de poisson blanc (fillet of white fish). I also went by the market and picked up oignons (onions), ail (garlic), tomates (tomatoes), and persil (parsley). Here is a very simple and tasty seafood soup you can make at home.

My EASY Soupe de Mer

1 fish head (optional): Boil in water, remove, strain and voila! FISH STOCK. You can also use just plain water, if you prefer.

1 kg (2 lbs) mussels (be sure to buy them alive to ensure freshness). Clean well - see video.

2 fillets of white fish (any of your choice)- cubed

about 300 gr (1/2 lb) shrimp (preferably raw)

1 large onion finely chopped

1 large tomato finely chopped

1/4 tomato sauce (or 2 T tomato paste)

1 small can of sweet yellow corn

garlic- chopped (to taste)

handful of fresh chopped parsley

1/2 t coriander

1/4 t thyme

1 bouillon cube (I used "white wine and fine herbs" but vegetable is fine)

1. Rinse shrimp well. I like to peel them, but some people do not. You decide. Sauté in olive oil, dash of salt and pepper- DO NOT OVERCOOK. Set aside.

2. In a soup pot, sauté onion and garlic until soft. Add tomatoes and lower heat. Add 6-8 cups of fish stock (or water) and add: bouillon cube, tomato sauce, corn, and spices. Simmer. You may add more or less fish stock (or water) depending on your personal taste. Some people like "brothy" soups- others like "chunky" soups.

4. In a separate saucepan, place mussels and 1/2 cup water, some garlic and salt. Steam them until they open and the flesh inside is tender. Remove from heat immediately. NOTE: I prefer to cook the mussels separately so that they don't overcook in the soup. Also, there is less of a chance for any sand to get into your broth.

5. Drop the fish into the simmering soup broth. It will cook very fast. Remove from heat. Add the shrimp and parsley last.


Ladle soup into the bowl and arrange the mussels around the rim. When you eat the mussels, you can dip the edge of the shell into the broth...delicious! Serve with crusty bread (preferably a baguette). Bon Appetit! As always, thank you for reading!

C. De Melo
Author & Artist


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