This version of Oyster Bisque from Kay Goldstein is one she served to Julia Child many years ago. The creole seasoning (or a mix of cayenne, garlic powder, dried thyme and black pepper) can be added to taste (more is good, I think). It’s a very rich soup, which is why Kay likes to serve it in small cups as a passed starter at a party, or in a soup bowl with a generous amount of croutons. This recipe originally appeared with this story.

Serves 6 to 8 as an appetizer, 3 to 4 as a supper or first course

  • 2 pints oysters with their liquid
  • 1 large onion coarsely chopped
  • 1 pint heavy cream
  • 1 pound cooked cubed potatoes (small dice)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped green onions, plus more for garnish
  • 1 quart half and half
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon Creole spice* (or to taste)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 6 to 8 large croutons or small pieces of toast

Place one pint of the oysters, the onion, and the heavy cream into a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Bring to a boil and reduce to half of the original volume. Strain the liquid and return it to the saucepan. Discard the oysters or save to use in a stuffing or other dish. Add the remaining pint of oysters and its liquid, the potatoes, the green onions, the half and half and the Creole spice to the pot.

Bring to a simmer and cook briefly until heated through. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed or with more Creole spice. Ladle into warm soup bowls and garnish with croutons or toast and a sprinkle of green onions.