Prepare the mussels by scrubbing the shells and pulling out the hairy beards. Discard any that have broken shells, or ones that don't close when tapped on the bench. Rinse well.
1 kg black mussels, scrubbed, debearded
250 ml dry sherry
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 red onion, chopped
200g chorizo, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, crushed
½ cup long-grain white rice
400g tin chopped tomatoes
2 litres good-quality chicken stock
½ teaspoon saffron threads
2 fresh bay leaves
1 tablespoon chopped oregano
500 g raw prawns, peeled, deveined, tails left intact
¼ cup chopped flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
1. Put the mussels in a saucepan with the sherry and cook, covered, over high heat for 4-5 minutes or until the mussels have opened. Strain the liquid into a bowl. (Discard any unopened mussels.) Remove all but eight mussels from their shells and discard the empty shells.
2. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, add the onion and cook for 5-8 minutes or until softened but not browned. Add the chorizo and cook for 3-5 minutes or until browned, then add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the rice and stir to coat with the onion mixture. Add the reserved cooking liquid and cook for 1 minute, then add the tomatoes, stock, saffron, bay leaves and oregano. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 25 minutes.
3. Add the prawns to the soup, cover with a lid and cook for 3 minutes or until just tender. Stir in all the mussels and parsley and heat through. Ladle the soup into serving bowls and serve immediately.