Creole Oyster and Spinach Soup

Soups & Stews

Recipe courtesy of George Graham, The Acadiana Table

Serves 4

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup finely diced yellow onions
  • 1/2 cup finely diced celery
  • 1/2 cup finely diced red bell pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme
  • 1/2 cup Pernod
  • 2 cups fresh spinach leaves, stems removed
  • 4 cups heavy cream
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Dash of Louisiana hot sauce
  • 1 pint (16 ounces) large Louisiana Gulf oysters, with oyster liquor

Creole Oyster and Spinach Soup

Creole Oyster and Spinach Soup

Click image to enlarge
Photo courtesy of George Graham, The Acadiana Table


In a large pan with a tight-fitting lid on medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onions, celery and bell pepper and cook until the onions turn translucent. Add the garlic, thyme and Pernod along with the spinach leaves. Let the alcohol burn off as the spinach begins to wilt. Add the cream and stir. Add 1 cup of oyster liquor from the container into the pan reserving the oysters for later. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover the pan and let cook for 10 minutes stirring every 5 minutes.

Uncover the pan and stir. The spinach should be wilted and the cream will have begun to reduce. Continue simmering the mixture as the soup thickens. Add salt, pepper and hot sauce to taste.

Just before serving, add the oysters. Gently simmer the oysters in the creamy bath until they are delicately poached and the edges begin to curl and wrinkle. Turn off the heat.

For serving, ladle the soup into shallow bowls with several oysters in each. Serve with French bread and pair with a chilled Sauvignon blanc. 


Note: Sourcing plump Gulf oysters are key to this dish. Don’t settle for anything but the freshest, saltiest oysters. I sometimes note that the alcohol is optional, but in this dish it is essential. There are a variety of acceptable anise-flavored liqueurs, but Pernod is my choice for this dish. Please go lightly on the hot sauce.


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