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1988 Chef Paul Prudhomme and Ann Oliver in Dallas, click here to see Ann’s work experience

click on the cover to go to the review

New Orleans Potato and Oyster Soup
serves 6

3 dozen fresh South Australian oysters
1 bunch of leeks
1200g potatoes
black pepper, freshly ground
½ bunch flat leaf parsley, stalked and chopped
½ a bunch of thyme, stalked and chopped
½ a bunch of watercress, stalked and chopped
125g unsalted butter
80ml EVolive oil
30ml Worcestershire sauce
½ a teaspoon of Tabasco, more if you like a spicy bite
250ml cream
30ml fresh strained lemon juice
Maldon sea salt to taste

Equipment
stick mixer

Method
Clean the leeks, washing the green tops carefully and drying them. Slice the white part of the leek very finely, julienne 6 x 8cm pieces of the tops, and very finely slice the more tender green tops, discarding the rest.
Place a sieve over a bowl and tip the oysters and their liquor into the sieve. Put the butter into a medium heavy based saucepan and place it on medium heat. When the butter starts to foam, add the white of the leek and the pepper and cook stirring frequently until golden.
Peel the potatoes, slice them thinly and add them to the pot, continuing to cook for a further few minutes. Add the oyster liquor to the pot, then add sufficient water to cover the oysters by about 3cm. Bring up to a very gentle simmer and add half of the oysters to the saucepan.
Fry the green leek julienne in hot olive oil until golden and crisped, draining it on paper towel. To this point can be done in advance.

Carefully re–heat the soup base. Just before you are ready to serve, add the Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco and cream. Bring up to simmer, add the lemon juice and puree with a stick mixer. Taste to check the seasonings, adding salt only at this point, as oysters and their liquor can vary in saltiness. When ready to plate up, stir through the remaining oysters and chopped herbs, remove from the heat and plate up making sure that there are 3 whole oysters in each bowl. Garnish with the fried leek.

tip
Do not add the whole oysters until you are ready to serve, they are just to be warmed through. Any prolonged heat will cause them to expel their liquor and they with become tough and rubbery. Serve with crusty bread.

try something deliciously different make a mix of fresh and smoked oysters for a really delicious soup with a difference.