Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
- 3 finely chopped shallots
- 3 T unsalted butter
- 3 T flour
- 3-4 cups lobster or fish stock
- 3-4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 9-12 oz. shucked oysters, with their liquor
- 1/2 - 1 t. cayenne pepper
- 3-4 egg yolks
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 T finely chopped parsley
In a large pot, slowly cook the shallots in the butter, stirring often, for about 5 minutes over medium heat. Do not let them brown.
Add the flour a tablespoon at a time, stirring all the while. When the flour is all incorporated, stir well and cook over low heat for about 10 minutes. It is important not to go too far during this time, as you are making a roux and a burnt or dark brown roux will ruin this dish. Stir often. You want the flour-butter-shallot mixture to be tan, not brown.
Meanwhile, mix the stocks and heat them to a simmer.
After the roux has cooked for about 10 minutes, slowly add the stock, about a cup at a time, stirring all the while. It will thicken at first, then loosen up, but it will stay incorporated. Bring this to a gentle boil, then drop the heat to a simmer. Let this simmer for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, finely chop some parsley for garnish. Remove the oysters from their jar, or if you have shucked the oysters yourself, separate them from their juice, called the liquor. Strain the liquor, which can have bits of shell or grit.
Once it is strained, add the liquor and the oysters to a blender and buzz furiously for about a minute. It should look like a brownish milkshake.
After the stocks have simmered 20 minutes or so, add the oyster puree and stir well to combine. Add the cayenne pepper. Simmer this -- don't let it boil -- for another 10 minutes.
Pour the soup through your finest-mesh sieve into a large bowl and push the solids through it. Use a wooden spoon to do the pushing.
Beat the cream and eggs together in a medium-sized bowl.
Return the soup to a clean pot and heat to just under a simmer. It cannot be boiling, or ever simmering too much.
With a ladle in one hand and a fork or whisk in another, slowly pour in 4-5 ladles' worth of soup into the egg-cream mixture, whisking all the while. This is called "tempering," and keeps the mixture from curdling when you put it into the soup. Once you have the temperature of the egg-cream mixture up a bit from your ladling, pour the lot into the rest of the soup and stir to combine.
Let this heat up -- again, it absolutely cannot boil or it will break -- for about 5-10 minutes and it is ready.
Pour into bowls and garnish with parsley.
For a wine, I'd suggest a big, buttery Chardonnay, unless you can find an aged, off-dry Riesling. We had a 2002 with this and it was divine.