Mussels and Potato Soup

In Iceland lots of people pick fresh mussels from the coastline. There are several places you can do this and one very popular is in the South-western part of the island. When I was a little girl my family used to drive past the coastline several times throughout the summer since we had a summer house up in the South-west. I couldn't understand why people would actually want to spend time, picking something so gross and using it for DINNER!!! As I grew older however I started to like mussels and although I don't eat them often (maybe once or twice a year) I try to use fresh mussels if available. If you however don't like the extra work required, you can always buy tinned mussels. This soup in Icelandic would be pronounced Kartöflu- og Kræklingasúpa ha ha....try chewing on that!

If you are lactose intolerant you can use soy milk instead of the semi skimmed milk and oat cream/soy cream instead of the single cream.

This is a cheap and flavourful soup. You can use tinned mussels instead of fresh

This recipe is:

  • Egg free
  • Gluten free
  • Nut free

This recipe is easy to make:

  • Lactose (dairy) free

Mussels and Potato Soup

Serves 3-4


  • 1 kilogramme (35 oz) fresh mussels (including shells) or 425 grams (14¾ oz) tinned mussels. Do not discard the liquid from the tin
  • 300 grams (11 oz) potatoes, peeled, chopped and boiled.
  • 3 tablespoons corn starch
  • 700 millilitres (24 fluid oz) semi skimmed milk
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped very finely
  • 1 handful parsley (leaves only)
  • Pinch salt (Himalaya or sea salt)
  • Pinch pepper (black)
  • 125 millilitres (4¼ oz) single cream or oat cream


  1. If you are using tinned mussels go straight to step nr. 5.
  2. First of all, you need to prepare the mussels (if using fresh mussels). Scrub the mussels under cold running water and remove any barnacles and pull off the little hairy 'beards'. Discard any mussels that are broken or don't close when given a sharp tap with a knife.
  3. Place the mussels in the saucepan with enough water to cover the mussels. Place the lid on and boil for 5 minutes or until the mussels open. If any mussels did not open, discard them.
  4. Place a sieve on the top of a bowl. Pour the liquid through a sieve and set aside. You will use about 50 millilitres (1¾ fluid oz) of the liquid.
  5. Remove mussels from their shells. Set mussels aside.
  6. If you use tinned mussels, open the tin (preserve the liquid) and set aside.
  7. Peel the 300 grams potatoes, chop finely and boil in a small saucepan for 7-10 minutes. Drain.
  8. Mix together 3 tablespoons corn starch with 3 tablespoons of the milk. Stir for 1 minute or until the mixture is free of lumps.
  9. Chop a handful of fresh parsley very finely.
  10. Chop the garlic very finely and transfer to the saucepan.
  11. Add approximately 700 millilitres (25 fluid oz) semi skimmed milk into the saucepan.
  12. Add the corn starch mixture into the saucepan. Reduce the heat.
  13. Add the parsley and heat for 2-3 minutes.
  14. Add boiled potatoes to the saucepan.
  15. Add the mussels to the soup and 50 millilitres of the preserved liquid (or the liquid from the tinned mussels).
  16. Add a pinch of salt and pepper (black) according to taste.
  17. Add 125 millilitres single cream or oat cream.
  18. Heat gently for 5-7 minutes without boiling.


  • Serve with bread.
  • The soup is even better the next day once the flavours have really settled. Pour the soup into a container and re-heat the next day.
  • For a thinner soup add more water.    
  • If the coconut oil is cold (in which case it becomes solid), place the jar in a bowl filled with hot water for a couple of minutes.       
  • You can use regular stock cubes instead of yeast free ones.
  • You can use chicken stock instead of vegetable stock.