Weeknight Cream-of-Oyster Soup

The idea for this soup came from confusion over what to do with a can of oysters and from my husband, who is the reason why I had canned oysters in the first place. My wonderful, big-brained husband, who knows everything about anything, it seems, is preparing for us to survive (and continue to eat well) in the event of a disaster or prolonged power outage. Canned foods are a big part of the plan. I thought his disaster preparations were cute–until the Washington, D.C. area was hit with that earthquake and that hurricane last summer. So, OK. Point taken. I decided to “test-drive” the oysters to see what I could make with them. After all, canned oysters don’t have a good reputation among chefs and savvy foodies.

My Ingredients: (I used dried, flaked onion; I was out of onion powder!)

Before giving you the recipe, I also want to thank Chef Felisha Wild (@ChefFelisha on Twitter), who responded to my Tweet, which asked “are canned oysters good for anything?” This creamed oyster soup is quick, elegant, and perfect for a weeknight starter or for serving to your guests during the holidays.

Recipe for Weeknight Cream-of-Oyster Soup
(Adapted from Oyster Soup Louisiane, Mandy’s Favorite Louisiana Recipes)*
Click here for a printable recipe.
1 8-ounce can of premium, boiled whole oysters in water
1 cup of unsweetened soy milk (You can use skim or 2% milk for a richer soup)
1 tablespoon of butter (the real thing)
2 sprigs of parsley (chop one sprig; save the other for garnishing)
1 teaspoon of onion powder
1 tablespoon of heavy cream (optional)
Salt and white pepper to taste

Drain and collect the liquid from the oysters into a small pot. Place the stove heat on medium-low. Season the oyster liquid with the onion powder and white pepper (don’t season with the salt yet). As the mixture begins to bubble, add the chopped parsley. When it just begins to boil, turn the stove dial to low heat. Place 8 ounces of milk in a microwave-safe container and heat for 2 minutes or until hot (but not boiling or frothing).

Pour hot milk into the oyster liquid, stirring constantly. Add the butter and the oysters; continue to stir and don’t allow the mixture to boil again. Use an immersion blender to liquefy the oysters or allow the contents to cool a bit and add it to the blender in two small batches. After blending the mixture, pour it through a strainer or sieve into a clean serving bowl. Taste the soup at this point and add more salt to taste if needed. Stir in the heavy cream, if desired, and garnish with parsley.

When power fails and I can’t use the blenders, I’ll have to make this dish rustic and leave the oysters whole!

Makes 2, one-half-cup servings.

* I had to get over the Mandy’s Cookbook illustration and the Black English within the text. I realize, though, that the cookbook is based on authentic, turn-of-century recipes.

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  1. says

    I’ve never heard of making anything from canned oysters before. This is very creative. I like the canned smoked oysters on picnics in wine country in the summertime. Delish.

  2. says

    Eftychia and Christine: Thanks for your feedback! I think this soup will be wonderful when the nights get bone-chilling here in the Washington, D.C. area–which they are about to get this weekend!

    Jay: I do hope you give it a try. It’s so easy and cheap to make!

    Stevie: Thanks for the kind words. I felt determined to do SOMETHING with those canned oysters. I think I’ll try canned smoked oysters next and make that into a bisque. Great idea–thanks!

  3. says

    What a gorgeous soup, and perfect after a long day of work:-) You truly never know when disaster will hit, so hey I say oysters are perfect to have stored in your cupboard, LOL! Hugs, Terra

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