Charleston Oyster Soup

Searching for a new way to prepare those fresh, briny oysters? Look no further than this Charleston-inspired soup.Get a taste of the Lowcountry with this traditional Oyster Soup. Unlike most soups and stews, which can often take an entire day to develop full, robust flavors, this dish comes together in just 15 minutes. The fresh seafood is the star of the show and requires little dressing up to create a stunning soup. The base of the soup is seafood stock, which complements the salty, briny flavor of the fresh oysters. A tablespoon of flour helps to thicken the soup, and cream and sherry add a touch of indulgence. The oysters do not require much time to cook—you'll only want to leave the soup on the stove until the edges of the oysters curl.The soup stuns all on its own, but we recommend serving this fresh soup with thick squares of homemade cornbread. You can also spoon this soup over rice for a more substantial meal. This soup is endlessly versatile and can be enjoyed year-round, but we love serving it as the opening act for our summer dinner parties or as a quick and easy weeknight dinner.

Oyster Soup
Photo: Photography: Victor Protasio, Prop Styling: Heather Chadduck, Food Styling: Erin Merhar
Active Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
15 mins
Serves 4 (serving size: 1 1/2 cups)


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • ¾ cup chopped yellow onion (from 1 small onion)

  • ¾ cup chopped celery (from 3 stalks)

  • ½ cup chopped fennel bulb

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced (about 2 tsp.)

  • 1 quart freshly shucked oysters, undrained

  • 1 cup seafood stock

  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

  • ⅛ - ¼ teaspoon ground mace

  • 2 cups whipping cream

  • ¼ - ⅓ cup sherry

  • Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


  1. Melt butter in a Dutch oven over medium. Add onion, celery, fennel, and garlic, and cook, stirring often, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add undrained oysters. Cook, stirring constantly, until hot, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in stock, flour, salt, pepper, and mace. Gradually add cream, stirring constantly. Continue cooking over medium, stirring constantly, until mixture is heated and oyster edges curl. Stir in sherry. Top with chopped parsley.

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