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Oyster Stew

October 6, 2010

“Soup is a mainstay of civilization.  It is a creative synthesis of flavors and textures, served in a comforting, back to childhood style; or as a precise and perfectly elegant beginning to the shape of things to come”.

               ——-Liz Smith

When it is time for fish and shellfish stew and chowder I think of many places in New England and all the fabulous meals shared.  I grew up in Connecticut with all the relatives in Boston and many summers on Cape Cod, so those recipes share a special place in my heart and home.  “Oyster Stew” is always on the menu during the Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years holidays for me.  This tradition started for me in Goshen, Connecticut in the mid seventies.  A couple friends of mine bought a 200-year-old salt-box in the Town of Goshen, Connecticut and I spent many happy holiday times with them through the years.  Oyster Stew was part of their tradition and immediately was adopted by me.  Oh, that was easy, I love oysters!   But it is also one of the first soups I make when the weather changes here in Florida.  Today is the third day I have my windows open so all the soup recipes are coming out of the cupboards.  

Oyster Stew


  • 16 0z. Shucked Oysters and their Liquid
  • 1/2 C. Onion (diced)
  • 1/2 C. Celery (peeled and diced)
  • 6 T. Unsalted Butter
  • 1/2 t. Worcestershire
  • 1 1/2 C – 2 C.  Heavy Cream
  • Freshly Ground Pepper (season to taste)
  • 1-2 oz. Dry Sherry (Optional)
  • Chopped Parsley for Garnish


  1. Pick through the oysters carefully removing any bits of shell
  2. Place in a sauce pan with their liquid and 2 C. of water and heat til the oysters begin to curl
  3. Remove and set aside, strain the liquid and set aside
  4. Simmer the onion and celery in butter in a soup pot until tender (approx. 6 minutes)
  5. Add the oyster liquid and heavy cream and heat “almost” to the boiling point, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes
  6. Stir in the Worcestershire
  7. Add the oysters and season to taste with pepper
  8. Pour into warmed bowls and add (1 t. sherry to each bowl-Optional) 
  9. Garnish with chopped parsley

 (Serves 4)

(Compliments of John Totino, Architect)

Mark and Adrienne (Hale Place, Goshen, CT)

Adapted from the book “Jasper White’s Cooking from New England” by Jasper White

A contribution to Chef Robin White’s #Soupweek (October 2-9, 2010).  If you would like to participate or just enjoy all the soup recipes visit her site at and find all the details.


2 Comments leave one →
  1. serenanorr permalink
    October 6, 2010 20:37

    Sounds amazing! Have to try this one.

    Seriously Soupy

    • October 6, 2010 23:12

      Oh, thank you so much from a real soup person. Love your soups, I have many and would love to share.

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