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Pumpkin and mussel soup, a recipe from Touraine, Loire Valley

Mussel and pumpkin soup in blue and white china bowls

It might seem unlikely, but mussels and pumpkin are a great pairing! In Touraine, in the Loire Valley, great gastronomy is treasured and this fabulous recipe for mussel and pumpkin soup from the kitchen of the beautiful Chateau de Rivau is a knock out.

The Chateau is famous for its vegetable and pumpkin collection and each autumn the garden is filled with colourful and heirloom varieties – see the Chateau du Rivau in autumn

Nicolas Gaulandeau, chef of the restaurant Le Jardin Secret at Château du Rivau shares his mouth-watering recipe.


2 kg pumpkin (Cinderella pumpkin works well, or cheese pumpkin)
1 litre of mussels
2 onions
2 potatoes
250 ml white wine
500 ml milk
1 tbsp caster sugar
300 ml liquid cream
12 saffron threads
Small bunch of chervil (or parsley) tied in a bouquet garni
40g butter
Salt and pepper


Peel the pumpkin. Remove the seeds and cut the flesh into cubes. Peel the potatoes and dice. Peel and chop the onions.

Sweat the onions, pumpkin and potatoes in butter. Pour in milk, cream and saffron. Season lightly with salt, pepper and a pinch of sugar. Cook for 30 minutes over low heat. Set aside.

Rinse the mussels and cook in the wine with the bouquet garni. Discard any that don’t open and remove the mussels from the shells. Spoon a little of the mussel juice into the soup mix.

Add the warm mussels and sprinkle a little parsley or chervil and croutons over the top if you wish.

A deliciously creamy and filling mussel and pumpkin soup!

More on the gastronomy of Touraine

Brouillaude au Truffes de Touraine – eggs and truffles, the posh way!

How to make Cormery Macarons – more than 1000 years old, the recipe has endured because it’s so delicious!

Nougat de Tours cake – truly scrumptious

Roasted scallops with touraine saffron butter sauce

Discover what to see and do in Touraine, Loire Valley: TouraineLoireValley

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