Mas Minestra With Mussels
|Mussels||1 1⁄2 Pound|
|Chicken broth||7 Cup (112 tbs) (Well Flavored)|
While stored in the refrigerator, mussels should be kept on ice (but not in the freezer) and allowed to breathe; don't store them in airtight plastic.
If possible, buy cultivated mussels that have been cleaned of their "beards" (fibers growing on the outside of the shells) and are grit-free, requiring no soaking.
They should be bagged and labeled with that information.
Otherwise, soak the mussels in cold water for an hour before cooking.
Scrub the shells under running water with a stiff brush and pull off the beards.
Discard any mussels that have cracked shells.
Use only mussels that are closed or that close up tightly when you tap them, indicating that they're still lively.
Wash the escarole very well and roughly cut the leaves into thirds.
In a large pot, bring the broth to a boil, add the escarole, and simmer until the greens are tender, about 10 minutes.
The soup can be prepared ahead to this point and reheated.
Put the cleaned mussels into the pot on top of the greens.
Cover and cook until the shells have opened, 3 to 5 minutes.
If one or two haven't opened when the rest have, discard the closed ones.
Top each portion of the soup with some of the mussels in their shells.