The Greatest Soup In The World

We Are Chefs

By Ana Kinkaid

How does a soup gain such acclaim that the likes of Craig Claiborne declare it to be the most elegant and delicious soup ever created?

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If the soup is France’s beloved Billi Bi Soup, also known as Cream of of Mussel Soup, the tale of its unique creation and enduring fame involves American millionaires, Greek princesses, racing boats and, of course, legendary chefs.

The story of Billi Bi Soup began in ancient Brittany where the residents of coastal towns have for centuries harvested big, beautiful mussels from the sea. They added these mussels to a variety of their regional dishes, all hardy and savory, but certainly not haute cuisine.

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Centuries passed. By the beginning of the early 1900s, France had gained fame as the culinary capital of the world and America as a leading industrial power. One nation offered elegance and style; the other offered…

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