Serves: Makes 6 to 8 servings
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 large shallot, minced
- ¼ cup finely diced yellow onion
- 1 medium Yukon Gold potato, peeled and diced
- 2 stalks celery, minced
- ¼ cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 cup water
- ¼ cup dry white wine
- 2 cups whipping cream or half-and-half
- 1 cup clam juice
- 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Salt and freshly ground white pepper
- 26 to 30 small raw shucked oysters, with their liquor
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh chives
Procedures:We have the best oysters here in the Northwest and locals use them in a wide variety of recipes, with fried oysters and barbecue-grilled oysters among the favorites. I was not a big fan of oysters in soup, however, until one of Seattle’s best-known chefs, Tom Douglas (owner of Dahlia Lounge, Etta’s Seafood, and other popular restaurants), made some for my birthday dinner. I’ve been a fan ever since, and even came up with my own recipe based on Tom’s inspiration: a flavorful, creamy steaming hot broth that you slip oysters into just a few minutes before serving.
For this easy soup, you can use either oysters freshly shucked from the shells or jarred oysters (two 10-ounce jars of “extra small” oysters will do the trick).
- Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallot and onion and cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes, until tender and aromatic. Stir in the potato, celery, and parsley and cook for 3 to 4 minutes longer. Stir in the water and white wine and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes, until the potato is tender.
- Stir in the cream and clam juice and cook gently for 1 to 2 minutes to blend the flavors; be sure the mixture doesn't boil. Stir in the lemon juice with salt and pepper to taste (keeping in mind that the oysters will add salty flavor).
- Add the oysters and their liquor to the pot and cook for 3 to 4 minutes longer, until the oysters are just firm. Ladle the soup into individual shallow bowls, distributing the oysters evenly. Sprinkle with chives and serve at once.