Creamy Oyster and Watercress Stew

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Yield: Servings: 6 Servings: 6



2 tablespoons vegetable oil

4 leeks, white and pale-green parts only, thinly sliced

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

osher salt, freshly ground pepper

1 cup dry white wine

2 dozen oysters, freshly shucked, liquor reserved

4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth

Pinch of saffron threads (optional)

1 large bunch watercress, tough ends trimmed, chopped (about 3 cups), plus finely chopped for serving

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1/2 cup heavy cream, plus more for serving

Crusty bread (for serving)


Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium-high heat. Cook leeks, stirring often, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute; season with salt and pepper.

Add wine and reserved oyster liquor to pot and cook until slightly reduced, about 4 minutes. Add broth and saffron; bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Add watercress and cook until just wilted, about 2 minutes. Let cool slightly, then, working in batches, purée in a blender until smooth. Pour soup into a large saucepan and bring to simmer over medium heat. Add oysters and red pepper flakes and cook until oysters are just cooked through, about 2 minutes; stir in 1/2 cup cream.

Serve soup drizzled with more cream and topped with finely chopped watercress.