Pour the wine into a large saucepan. Add the celery leaves and bring to the boil. Add the mussels, cover and cook for 4–5 minutes, shaking the pan regularly, until they open.
Once the mussels have opened, drain them, reserving their cooking liquid. Shuck the mussels, setting aside the meat and reserving a few attractive shells. Strain the cooking liquid through a fine sieve into a large jug.
Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the celery stalks, leek, onion and grated carrot, reserving a few thin slices of leek for a garnish. Stir, cover and cook gently for 5 minutes. Sprinkle in the curry powder and stir. Pour in the mussels' cooking liquid and fish stock, then stir in the tomato paste. Bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes.
Allow to cool slightly, then tip the contents of the pan into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Add the sour cream or crème fraîche and blend once more. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Reheat the soup, add the mussels and heat through gently for 1 minute, taking care not to boil.
Serve sprinkled with a little cayenne pepper and garnish with the reserved leek and the sliced carrot and a few of the mussels returned to their shells.
This was so delicious!!! I had very salty fresh mussels so just used water instead of fish stock, added some baby zuchinis because they were growing in the garden, and it was so tasty ( I would peeel the green off them if serving guests because it does affect the colour, but the extra sweetness is awesome) . Next time I think I will used the cooked mussels in a stir fry type dish as a second course and have the soup sans mussel meat because the flavour was so delicious and delicate that I just wanted to savour it on its own. And you get the bonus of stretching out your ingredients! - 08 Jan 2011
Used different ingredients.
used water instead of fish stock and added some baby courgettes, next time I would even say you could use most of the mussel meat in another dish instead of returning them to the soup. It is so delicious it doesn't need them.
Thanks Zoe! - 08 Jan 2011