Never one to easily accept defeat, I decide to do some research. I always research/Google any problem before I am ready to concede. Happily, I found some very clever solutions to my soup dilemma. I found a few food styling websites that suggested placing marbles at the bottom of your soup bowl in order to help raise the solid ingredients to the top of the bowl for photographing. Although this seemed like a genius answer to my problem, I wasn't willing to put marbles in my soup. Remember people - this is just a hobby. I actually eat everything I photograph and I wasn't willing to pick marbles out of the bottom of my soup nor was I willing to use a cup of soup as a "model" only to discard after its photo shoot.
So here I present to you a not so pretty, but amazingly delicious soup.
Oyster and Wild Rice Bisque
Adapted from Cooking Light December 2008
8 servings (serving size: about 3/4 cup) - only about four normal size servings, I highly recommend doubling this recipe. If you don't you will wish you did after your first taste.
- 2 bacon slices, chopped
- 2 cups chopped onion (about 2 medium)
- 2 cups shucked oysters, undrained
- 1 cup clam juice
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 1/2 cups cooked wild rice
- 1 1/4 cups whole milk
- 3 tablespoons half-and-half
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (optional)
1. Cook bacon in a large, heavy saucepan over medium-low heat 6 minutes or until crisp. Stir in onion; cover and cook 8 minutes or until the onion is tender, stirring occasionally. Be careful to not let the onions burn while the pot is covered. They will burn much quicker under a closed lid than normal.
2. Strain oysters through a sieve over a bowl. Reserve oysters; add oyster liquid to pan. Combine clam juice and flour in a small bowl; stir with a whisk until smooth. Add clam juice mixture, broth, and bay leaf to pan. Increase heat to medium-high. Bring mixture to a boil; cook until reduced to 2 cups (about 6 minutes).
3. Reduce heat to low. Discard bay leaf. Stir in rice, milk, half-and-half, salt, and pepper.
Cover and simmer 10 minutes. Stir in reserved oysters; cook 5 minutes or until edges of oysters curl.
Sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley, if desired.
This soup was amazing. Probably (get ready for a very bold statement) one of the best things I have ever cooked. It was surprisingly light for a bisque and didn't leave you with a heavy feeling like most cream soups can do. I also don't think that the wild rice is necessary in this recipe. So if you have trouble finding it (like I did) feel free to leave it out. It was only really needed as a filler and if you were to serve this soup as a first course or with bread and a salad you wouldn't need the rice to fill you up anyway. The depth of flavors were amazing and I was able to savor the taste of the oysters in every bite. This was a true treat and I will be making it again very soon.