Oyster-Artichoke Bisque

Oyster Artichoke Bisque

           I took a trip to New Orleans sometime in 1993, and returned with some great inspiration for food to try out in o'Bagelo's. I had never heard of this soup, but it turned out to be one of the great imports from that region. It is the only time I have seen this soup in any restaurant.  

           The response was fantastic for anyone who had the taste for oysters. It is an easy soup to make if you are willing to garner all the necessary ingredients. The reward will be worth the effort and then some, if of course you're a fan of oysters. This recipe varies from a traditional bisque as I do not puree the final product, but I left the name because I didn't have any other "Bisques" on the menu.

            I have been reluctant at times to reveal the recipes of many of my unique items in the event I ever ventured back in the business of serving food to the general public. Obviously I have decided
that this isn't going to effect either the decision or the outcome if that day ever comes. Good luck with this one, and reserve it only for oyster lovers, as it can be expensive to make, especially outside of the large areas that produce oysters.

  • 4 Pieces of bacon
  • 1/3 cup chopped onions
  • 1/2 stick of unsalted butter
  • 2 15 oz cans of Artichoke Hearts in water. chopped, liquid reserved
  • 3/4 cup All purpose flour
  • 8 oz. Clam Juice
  • 20 oz shucked oysters in liquor
  • 2/3 qt of Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 1 - 6 oz can of smoked oysters
  • 3 scallions, chopped. I use the white parts and a bit of the green for flavor and garnish
  • Salt/Pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp Cayenne pepper
  • 3 Tbsp parsley
  • 1 Tbsp thyme

Total Time: 1 hour

Should serve six, but often eaters are looking for seconds.

The first step in this trip to joyousness is to render the bacon in a large soup pot at medium high heat. A pot that you will use to combine all the ingredients. When the bacon is about 3/4 finished, add the chopped onions and sauté until the bacon is done and the onions are translucent.

You can do them separately, just be sure tho cook the onions in the bacon fat, and then add the bacon back to the pot. Once the onions and bacon are cooked, add the butter and melt thoroughly.

Next add the artichoke hearts without the liquid.  We are now going to finish this bacon-artichoke roux. Mix the flour in until you can't see any white from the flour. You may need to add a bit more flour to get this part to the perfect consistency. Not too dry and not too wet. The mixture will look wetter than a standard roux and will thicken up with the rest of the ingredients.

Let this cook on the heat for a few minutes to get rid of any flour taste and incorporate all the flavors.

Add the liquid from the artichoke hearts and the clam juice and combine well. Let the mixture heat through as it will take a few minutes to get the mixture back up to temperature after you have added the colder ingredients to the hot. 

After the heat has returned to the soup, add your oysters with their liquid. At this point, open and drain the smoked oyster on some paper towel. It will take a few minutes for the fresh oysters to cook in the soup (when the edges of the fresh oysters start to curl, they are ready).

Next we add the spices, the heavy cream, and the white part of the scallions and let cook for 3-4 minutes.  Add the smoked oyster last and garnish with the green parts of the scallions. If your soup is too thick or creamy tasting, just add some water to thin it down to your desired taste.

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