Creamy and rich soup that shows off the rich, briny flavor of fresh oysters. Start with a cream-based soup, then add the wonderful flavor of fresh oysters and oyster liquor and some subtle Herbs and Spices. Quick but regal.
Servings: 8 Servings
- 2 pints oysters
- 3 cups oyster liquor (juice) add cold water to make 3 cups if necessary
- 1 bundle fresh herbs a bouquet garni of thyme, sage and bay leaf
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 bunch green onions chopped fine about 1 cup
- 1 stalk celery chopped fine about 3 tablespoons
- 1 cup leeks white part only, about 1 leek
- 2 tablespoons parsley chopped
- 2 tablespoons garlic chopped fine 3 cloves
- 1 tablespoon creole seasoning
- 6 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Cayenne pepper optional
- Tabasco sauce to taste
For the oysters
In a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, add the oysters with their liquor.
Add a bouquet garni consisting of fresh thyme, sage and bay leaves.
Bring this to a boil for 1 minute, then reduce the heat to a slight simmer for about 2 minutes. The oysters will start to curl.
Remove the oysters with a slotted spoon and set aside. Make sure to capture any liquor that comes off the oysters.
Continue to simmer the oyster liquor and herbs for another 5 minutes.
Remove from the heat and set aside.
For the soup base
Melt the butter in a dutch oven over medium-high heat.
Add the green onions, celery, and leeks.
Stir well and saute for about 3 minutes.
Add the garlic and creole seasoning, mix well.
Saute for about 2 more minutes until aromatic.
Add the flour and stir constantly to make a light roux, about 3 minutes.
Add the parsley and stir to completely combine all the ingredients.
Warm the milk, then add it gradually into the roux mixture. Make sure there are no lumps.
Gradually add the heavy cream to the cream base. Make sure a smooth sauce forms with no lumps.
Increase heat and simmer for about 3 minutes, stirring or whisking constantly.
Add 3 cups of oyster liquid (add water to make 3 cups if you don’t have enough).
Bring it to a boil, then lower the heat to maintain a heavy simmer for about 15 minutes, uncovered, while the soup thickens.
Add oysters and serve
Add the oysters plus any liquid that has accumulated with them and continue to simmer for 5 minutes.
Season with kosher salt, black pepper and Tabasco hot sauce.
For more detailed instructions and insights, read my article Oyster Soup. A serving size of 1 cup is used for calculating the estimated nutritional values.
Use the juice (oyster liquor) that comes with the oysters. If you don't have 3 cups, add cold water to make up the difference.
I highly recommend using whole milk to get all the flavors of the milk fat. You can use 2% milk if you would like, but I don’t recommend no-fat milk. Warm the milk before you add it to the roux mixture as that will help eliminate lumps. Whisk or stir constantly as you slowly add the milk. Once it has all been added and you have a smooth base, you can add the heavy cream cold. Leeks can sometimes have dirt or grit stuck between their layers. A leek is like a bunch of tubes layered on top of each other so if you slice them crossways you will get small rings. The grit can hide between those rings. There are a few ways to clean them, but this method has worked for me: slice out the white section you want to use. Pull off any discolored or dried outer layers and discard. Make a slice lengthwise to cut the leek in half, then repeat that with each half so you end up with 4 long quarters. Hold each quarter under running cold water and manipulate the layers so the water rinses out any grit. Place the cleaned leek on some paper towels to drain.
You can refrigerate leftover Oyster Soup for about 3 to 4 days as long as you use an airtight container. Let the soup come cool off before refrigerating. Reheat in a saucepan over medium heat until completely warmed through. If the milk, cream and butter start to separate, stir or whisk vigorously until it is repaired.
I don’t recommend freezing leftover Oyster Soup, but it can be done. Actually, I’ve never really had enough leftover to worry about it. The problem with freezing Oyster Soup is that the solids in the butter/milk/cream may separate from the liquid and separate and the oysters may lose a little of their texture and flavor. But like I said, it can be done with no problem and the soup should maintain good quality for up to 3 months. Defrost the soup in the refrigerator, then warm slowly in a saucepan. If there is a lot of separation, pull the oysters out of the soup with a slotted spoon. Vigorously whisk the soup while it is heating up, then put the oysters back in and let them warm through.
While there is nothing wrong with warmed-up Oyster Soup, this dish is at its peak flavor right when it’s finished cooking. Adding the oysters at the end (after a quick 3-minute simmer in the liquor) will keep the oysters at their optimal best. If you can’t eat it right away, it will still be awesome but it's best served immediately.
This is a very rich soup and is good enough to carry the entire meal. But it also makes a very special appetizer course and a terrific way to start things off. If you are served Oyster Soup as an appetizer, you know you are in for a special meal.
It’s almost mandatory that you have crispy french bread with Oyster Soup. You could also serve some saltine crackers with it. If this is the main course, a nice Sensation Salad is perfect alongside.
Calories: 231kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 67mg | Sodium: 409mg | Potassium: 195mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1304IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 113mg | Iron: 1mg
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