Saffron Mussel Chowder Recipe
Before I tell you how I discovered this amazing soup and how to make it, I’m going to give you a quick vocab lesson.
Billi Bi [BILL-ee BEE] ~ An elegant French soup made with mussels, onions, wine, cream and seasonings. The mussels are strained out of a classic billi bi leaving a smooth and silky soup. However, today it is often served with the mussels. Though there are several stories of the soup’s origin, the most popular is that Maxim’s chef, Louis Barthe, named it after a regular patron who particularly loved the soup, American tin tycoon William B. (Billy B.) Leeds. **
Fumet [fyoo-MAY; foo-MAY] ~ A concentrated stock, particularly one made from fish or mushrooms, used to add flavor to less intensely flavored stocks or sauces. **
I first discovered this particular variation of Billi Bi, or Saffron Mussel Chowder, in a restaurant perched atop the Rocky Mountains in Telluride, Colorado. Never mind the altitude, the lack of oxygen, or the breath taking scenery, I nearly lost my breath with the first spoonful of this rich and decadent soup. Ok, well maybe it was the lack of oxygen after all…..
At any rate, it was my husband who concocted this divine chowder and presented to me for a quick slopeside warm-up in between some killer powder runs. It’s been years since I’ve been treated to a bowl of Billi Bi, so today I insisted he give me a shopping list and teach me how to make it for myself.
With utter delight and a happy tummy, I will now share this easy and satisfying dish.
ITEMS WE USED TO MAKE THIS RECIPE