January 9, 2015

reading in the kitchen - oyster soup

Last year I set a goal for myself: make one recipe a month from Barbara M. Walker's The Little House Cookbook and revive the Reading in the Kitchen series I'd so enjoyed doing a couple of years ago. As way leads to way, that didn't happen, but I figure it's never too late for a second chance at meeting a goal.

So here we go. First up, oyster soup, which gets a shout-out in On the Banks of Plum Creek (when Pa stays alive on oyster crackers during a sudden blizzard) and By the Shores of Silver Lake, when Ma makes it for Christmas dinner.

I'll admit, I had reservations going into this dish. I love cream-based soups like this, and clam chowder is a personal favorite. I adore seafood. But oysters kind of freak me out. I know oysters on a half shell are supposed to be a delicacy (and an aphrodisiac), but the slimy texture grosses me out. I hoped this dish would prove me wrong.

The ingredients for this are pretty simple. (You can find the full list and detailed directions in the cookbook pages 29-30.)

I started by draining the liquid from the oyster cans into a measuring cup.

I poured the cup of oyster juice and a cup of water into a pot on the stove, which I set over a medium heat. While that warmed up, I crushed up some of the oyster crackers as finely as I could

I poured those and the butter into the pot and waited for it to boil.

And I stirred.

Once the pot was boiling, I dumped the oysters in. This was the point during cooking when I wondered if I'd actually be able to eat this dish. Those canned oysters just looked so slimy and gooey and gross. Blech.

I poured in the milk and only a fraction of the cream (because the soup already smelled good enough and the recipe book said the cream and butter might make it a little rich for the tummy).

While the pot returned to a boil I added some ground pepper, mace, and nutmeg.

After everything simmered together for a few minutes, I removed it from the heat and poured myself a serving. The recipe book says this will make six small servings. I found it yielded four portions that worked well as the main dish at lunch.

I'm happy to report that though the oysters looked gross going into the pot, and weren't exactly super appetizing to look like after cooking, the whole soup was delicious. It was actually pretty easy, too, so I may try this one again.

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1 comment:

  1. You were brave trying this one. I won't go near oysters - would much rather have the mac-n-cheese from your last post!