Lettuce and Oyster Soup

The humble lettuce is given star-restaurant status in this elegant starter of light, creamy soup garnished with succulent poached oysters
By Martin Blunos
Lettuce and Oyster Soup
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 2
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Effort: medium

Ingredients

  • 2 medium-large soft English lettuce
  • 1 tsp unsalted butter
  • 1 small shallot, finely chopped
  • 500 ml fish stock
  • 6 Colchester oysters, shucked, juices reserved
  • 1 tbsp curlyleaves parsley
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 80 ml double cream
  • salt and black pepper
  • lemon juice
  • crème fraîche, to serve

Tips and Suggestions


Colchester oysters, an Essex variety that is now in season, are ideal for this dish.

Method

1. Separate the lettuce leaves, wash and dry well. Cut out and discard the thick ribs. Shred the soft remaining leaves, keeping one leaf back to use as a garnish.

2. Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the shallot and cook gently for about 5 minutes to soften without colouring.

3. Add the lettuce cook, stirring for 1 minute. Pour in the fish stock, bring to the boil and simmer until the volume of liquid has reduced by a quarter.

4. Add the shucked oysters and poach them in the soup for just 45 seconds. Use a slotted spoon to lift out the oysters and set aside in a warm place.

5. Add the parsley and reserved oyster juices to the soup. Transfer the mixture to a blender and whiz until smooth.

6. In a small jug, beat the yolks and cream together then pour the mixture slowly into the blender, processing briefly. Adjust the seasoning to taste with salt, pepper and lemon juice.

7. Pour the soup into bowls. Place a small spoonful of crème fraîche in the centre of each, arrange 3 oysters around the crème fraîche and top with the reserved shredded lettuce.

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