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Irish Oyster Soup

This old recipe from Ballymoney in County Antrim is wonderfully rich -- and extravagant in its oysters, reflecting Ireland's generous use of the fabulous bivalve from as far back as mesolithic 5500 BC. You can certainly get away with fewer -- say, a pint instead of a quart of shucked oysters.

Courses: Soup
Serves: 6 people

Recipe Ingredients

2 teaspoons 10mlPotatoes - unpeeled (large)
3 tablespoons 45mlButter
1/4 lb 113g / 4ozSalt pork - diced
4 cups 948mlMilk
1   Bouquet garni - (a bay leaf
  And green herbs tied together
  Or in a tea ball)
  Salt - to taste
  Freshly-ground black pepper - to taste
36   Fresh shucked oysters - juice reserved
  Chopped parsley - for garnish

Recipe Instructions

Cook the potatoes in boiling salted water until just tender. Meanwhile, bring the milk to a boil, remove from heat, dunk in the bouquet garni, and let infuse. Then saute the diced salt pork in a little butter over low heat until it is just cooked through.

When the potatoes are done, peel and mash, then whip in the hot herbed milk. When the salt pork is tender, add the pieces, drained of their grease. Season to taste. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, then add the oysters with their liquid. Simmer for a few minutes. Taste for seasoning and stir in the rest of the butter.

You can make a nice presentation from a tureen at the table -- or just ladle into bowls in the kitchen and serve at once, garnished with chopped parsley.

Serve hot as a meal to 6 to 8 people.

Soup Of The Evening...Beautiful Soup at


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