Cream of Mussel (Billi-Bi) Soup


1 cup chopped onions 
1 cup milk 
1/4 cup chopped shallots 
2 cups heavy cream 
2 T. butter 
1/2 t. salt 
1-1/2 cups dry white wine 
Freshly ground black pepper to taste 
4 sprigs parsley, minced 
1 T. chopped parsley for garnish 
4 lbs. Canadian Cove mussels

In a heavy soup pot, combine onions, shallots, butter, wine and parsley. Place mussels in pot, cover tightly and cook 3-4 minutes or until mussels have opened. With slotted spoon, scoop mussels from pot and set aside. Strain broth through cheesecloth into a bowl. Press down on vegetables to extract all the juices. Shuck the mussels, discarding any unopened ones. Reserve 24 and puree the rest, along with the strained broth in a blender or food processor. Pour the puree into a pot, add milk and cream. Simmer 10 - 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add 3 reserved mussels to each portion and garnish with minced parsley or chives.

It takes 2 years for the Mussels to grow to harvesting size and wild, salt-water mussels can live up to 50 years.