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.




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