Thickened with vegetables and finished with a touch of light cream, this silky soup makes an elegant first course. Small oysters, such as Kumamoto or Prince Edward Island, are preferable, but you can use your favorite fresh raw oysters.
2 dozen small oysters
1 quart seafood stock (such as Kitchen Basics)
1 3/4 cups diced peeled red potato
1 cup diced peeled parsnip
1 cup chopped leek, white part only
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup half-and-half
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh chives
How to Make It
Shuck oysters, reserving oyster liquid. Strain oyster liquid through a sieve over a large saucepan. Pick over oysters to remove any bits of shell. Chill oysters.
Add stock and next 5 ingredients (through pepper) to oyster liquid; bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Place half of stock mixture in a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters). Blend until smooth. Pour into a large bowl. Repeat procedure with remaining stock mixture.
Return pureed soup to saucepan; bring to a simmer. Stir in half-and-half and oysters; simmer 2 minutes or until oyster edges curl; stir in chives.