Yield: 6 servings
- 18 small oysters in shells, well scrubbed
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 6 scallions, trimmed and minced
- 4 medium carrots, peeled and cut into julienne about 1 1/2 inches long
- 2 cups dry white wine
- 2 cups half-and-half
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 cups stemmed watercress (1 to 2 bunches)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Lemon slices, for garnish
1. Shuck the oysters over a bowl and reserve their liquor. Strain the
liquor through 1 or 2 thicknesses of dampened cheesecloth into another
bowl. Set both the oysters and liquor aside.
2. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the
scallions and sauté for about 3 minutes until just softened. Set aside.
3. Cook the carrots in boiling salted water to cover for about 2 minutes until just tender. Drain immediately and rinse under cold water
to stop the cooking. Pat them dry and set aside.
4. In a large nonreactive saucepan or stockpot, bring the wine to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat. Slowly stir in the half-and-half and
heavy cream. Stir the mixture constantly to prevent curdling. When well
mixed, return the pan to the heat and bring to a slow boil. Cook
uncovered over high heat for about 5 minutes until slightly thickened.
5. Reduce the heat to medium-low and stir in the reserved oyster
liquor. Add the scallions and carrots and cook for about 5 minutes until
heated through. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
6. Add the watercress and cook gently for about 5 minutes longer until
heated through. Add the oysters and stir briskly for about 1 minute
until their edges just begin to curl. Immediately ladle the soup into
bowls and garnish by floating lemon slices on top of the soup.