1kg fresh mussels, scrubbed
50g butter or 3 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 medium floury potatoes, peeled, chopped into 3cm cubes
1 medium celeriac (about 500g), peeled, cut into 2cm cubes
3cm piece ginger, grated
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1-2 green chillies, finely chopped
6 stalks curry leaves, stalks discarded
2 teaspoons coriander seeds, ground (or 1 teaspoon pre-ground coriander)
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, ground
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
½ teaspoon salt
500g cauliflower, cut into small florets
200g smoked mussels, chopped
1 tablespoon lemon juice
100ml cream (optional)
4 tablespoons plain oil, for frying
1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
naan bread, to serve

Who doesn’t love a thick, creamy chowder in winter? Here I have really upped the vegetables with celeriac and cauliflower to make a smooth, velvety soup that needs a lot less cream. If you wanted to make this purely plant-based, you could omit the mussels and cream and add 2 teaspoons of smoked paprika with the other spices and perhaps a can of chickpeas or beans for protein.

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1.Bring 1 cup of water to the boil in a large pot.
2.Add the mussels, cover and cook for 3 minutes.
3.Remove all the open mussels. If any are unopened move them around a bit, cover for another minute or two then remove. Discard any that remain unopened.
4.Strain the liquid into a measuring jug and top up with water to get 1½ litres.
5.Cool the mussels a little then remove from their shells, cut in half and set aside.
6.Heat the butter or oil in a saucepan over a medium heat and fry the onion with a sprinkle of salt for 5 minutes.
7.Add the potato, celeriac, ginger, garlic, chilli and half the curry leaves and fry for 1 minute.
8.Add the coriander, cumin and turmeric and fry for another minute.
9.Add the measured liquid and salt and bring to the boil.
10.Add the cauliflower and cook for about 15 minutes until the vegetables are tender.
11.Blend to a smooth soup with a stick blender (or cool slightly and transfer to a food processor or blender).
12.Return to the pot and stir in the mussels, smoked mussels, lemon juice and cream (if using) and warm through.
13.Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium-high heat, add the remaining curry leaves and cook for about 30 seconds, watching out for splatters. Scoop out and drain on paper towels.
14.Add the mustard seeds and cook for 30 seconds then remove from the heat.
15.Divide the soup between warmed bowls and spoon over some curry leaves and mustard seed oil.
16.Serve with naan bread, if desired.

Recipes & food styling Fiona Smith / Photography Aaron McLean / Styling Fiona Lascelles