Oyster & Leek Chowder

oysterleekBetween feeling under the weather and the colder than usual days this past week, I needed something extra hearty to warm me up. This recipe, from Cooking In Season with the Fresh Market, was filling enough and had plenty of flavor (even to my dulled taste buds), all while providing me with a healthy dose of fresh greens to help with my recovery. This soup is plenty on its own, but would also be great served as an appetizer for any winter get together or dinner.

Ingredients

1 large russet potato, peeled and cut into 3/4″ cubes

4 bacon slices, cooked, coarsely chopped

3 tbsp unsalted butter

2 large leeks, white and pale green parts only, chopped and well rinsed (1 1/2 c)

2 large celery stalks, cut into 1/2 in dice

3 tbsp all-purpose flour

4 1/2 c whole milk

1 pint shucked oysters, drained, juices reserved

salt and freshly ground black pepper

minced fresh flat-leaf parsley (for serving)

Recipe

Place cubed potato in medium sauce pan, covered by one inch of cold water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to medium-low and let simmer for 20 minutes (or until potatoes are tender to knife’s touch).

In a large saucepan, melt butter, and add celery and leeks. Cook covered for about 5 minutes, until leeks are tender. Add flour and stir, cooking about one minute (do not let flour brown).

Add milk and oyster juices, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce to medium-low and simmer about 5 minutes, stirring often. Add oysters, potatoes, and bacon, and simmer until oysters and plump and edges curl.

Season with salt and pepper, serve hot with fresh parsley and oyster crackers.

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