15-Minute Spicy Mussel Soup

Mussels cooked in a spicy tomato sauce. So much delicious broth to soak up with your baguette.

Have you ever had mussels in a spicy tomato sauce? The mussels are good but it’s really all about the sauce. I keep dipping my bread until there’s no bread left. And then I ask for more.

The sauce has a rich tomato flavor and quite a bit of heat. It also has a subtle seafood aroma from the mussels that were cooked in the sauce.

The last time I had mussels like that in a restaurant, I was dipping into the sauce and wishing there was more of it, as usual. Which is what made me think to do it as a soup. Then there would be more of that delicious tomato sauce to soak into my bread.

This Spicy Mussel Soup is ready in under 15 minutes. The thing that makes it so delicious so quickly is the mussels. Mussels and other seafood cook really quickly so they’re a great way to get a pot of soup done in no time.

If you haven’t cooked mussels before, they’re really easy. Store them in a lidless container wrapped in newspaper or a damp paper towel in the coldest part of your fridge. Before cooking, discard any that are open. Steam or simmer in soup or broth until all shells have opened. If most are open, stop cooking and discard any that didn’t open up. Easy. Get more mussel storage and cooking tips here.

Another soup that uses quick-cooking seafood is this Manhattan Clam Chowder. It uses canned clams and they cook up just as quickly as the mussels do.

To get more tips for making quick soups and to see all of the SOUPin15 recipes click here.

And now, here’s my recipe for Spicy Mussel Soup. See you in 15!



15-Minute Spicy Mussel Soup

  • Author: Christine Pittman
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings


Mussels are a great protein for a busy weeknight because the cook so quickly. Try them in this quick soup. To make this soup in under 15 minutes first gather together all of the tools, pots, pans and ingredients that you’ll need. But don’t do any prep. All of the prep is contained within the instructions and is included in the 15 minute cooking time. See you in 15! (Yield 12 cups)


  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 large handful fresh parsley
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/21 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (to taste)
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 (28oz.) can crushed tmoatoes
  • 1 (28oz.) can diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups low or no-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 lbs. fresh live mussels


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. peel and chop the onion and add it. Chop the parsley and set it aside. Mince the garlic cloves. Add garlic to onions along with red pepper flakes. Stir. Let cook for 30 seconds. Add the wine. Stir.
  2. Open the cans of crushed and diced tomatoes and add them to the pot along with the chicken broth, salt and half of the chopped parsley. Stir, cover and increase heat to high. Cook until it reaches a boil. Reduce to a heavy simmer.
  3. While the soup heats up, remove the beards from the mussels (just pull off the thread that runs along them, if that thread is there) and gently scrape off any barnacles. Put them in a colander and rinse with cold water. If any mussels are open, tap them. If they close they’re fine. If they stay open, discard.
  4. Once the soup is simmering, add the mussels. Cook until all mussels have opened. If most have opened, discard any that have stayed closed. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with remaining parsley.