|1 tbsp olive oil||1¼ cups (300 ml) hot vegetable stock or light fish stock|
|1 onion, finely chopped||1 x 14 oz (400 ml) can unsweetened coconut milk|
|1 fennel bulb, trimmed and finely chopped||3 lb (1.35 kg) fresh mussels, cleaned (see Cook's Notes)|
|2 garlic cloves, finely chopped||handful of fresh basil leaves, torn|
|2 all-purpose waxy potatoes, peeled and finely diced||sea salt and freshly ground black pepper|
Heat the oil in a saucepan over low heat. Add the onion, fennel, and salt, then cook for 5 minutes until softened. Stir in the garlic and potatoes, and cook for 2 minutes until well coated.
Pour in the stock and bring to a boil. Stir in the coconut milk, reduce the heat slightly, and simmer gently for about 10 minutes. Bring back to a boil, add the mussels, and cover the pan. Cook for about 5 minutes until the mussels are open (discard any that do not open).
To serve, stir in the basil, taste the broth, and season if needed. Serve hot.
To clean the mussels, turn them into the sink and cover with plenty of cold water. Scrape them one by one, to remove any barnacles or hairy "beards," and scrub the shells. Throw away any that are open or badly cracked, and cook at once.
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