Now that we are again living in the months containing the letter "R," fresh oysters should abound. What better way to emulate the classic, labor-intensive oysters Rockefeller appetizer than with a speedy main dish soup with the same essences?
The elegant soup recipe below can be concocted in less than 30 minutes. The onion and potato serve a dual purpose: They add character and they thickening the soup when it's pureed. The oysters are added at the end and cooked just until warm, so they won't become tough.
While the soup is cooking, marinate fresh tomato wedges with a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar to emphasize their fresh flavor. Tuscany toast or crostini (sometimes called cocktail crips) are simply slices of french bread that have have been crisped with a coating of olive oil and herbs. Most supermarkets carry a packaged version. Homemade style crunchy brownies from your supermarket bakery give the meal an indulgent finish.
Items you should have in your pantry are: olive oil, onions, potatoes, lemons, tarragon, salt and pepper, tomatoes, balsamic vinegar.
Your 10-item-or-less shopping list:
1 pint fresh oysters, small size
2 cans chicken broth (about 16 ounces each)
1 10-ounce bag fresh spinach
8 ounces heavy whipping cream
8-12 ounces Tuscany Toasts
Oysters Rockefeller soup Serves 4
pint fresh oysters, drained
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, minced
1 large potato, peeled and finely minced
3 cups chicken broth
1 (10-ounce bag) fresh spinach, rinsed and stemmed
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons tarragon
8 ounces ( 1/2 pint) heavy whipping cream
salt and pepper to taste
In a medium-sized dutch oven or soup pot, heat olive oil until hot and add onion and potato. Stir for 2 minutes to brown and then lower heat and cover to sweat for 4 minutes. Add chicken broth, bring to a boil, lower heat to medium high, cover and simmer 10 minutes. Add all of spinach, lemon juice and tarragon while stirring just until spinach has wilted. Transfer to blender or food .. processor and puree. Return to soup pot and add cream and oysters and heat until warm. Add salt and pepper to taste. Soup may be garnished with lemon slices or red bell pepper strips or pimento for color.