Patrick’s Famous Oyster Soup

Patrick Smyth’s Famous Oyster Soup

Who doesn’t like oysters?  Really?  Who?  Anyways, I collected some big beach oysters the other day while at Saltspring and decided that being August, a month without the letter “R”, we should cook them.  (see why you should only eat oysters raw during months with an “R” in them after the recipe)


And so this is what we perfected over the course of about a week of cooking.

  1. Fry 2 cloves garlic and 1/8 red onion on low in 3 tablespoons olive oil till cooked.  (Not brown)
  2.  Add 1/2 cup thinly sliced mushrooms and brown on medium for about 5 minutes.
  3.  Add 3 coarsely chopped green onions (Spring onions) and cook for another minute on medium.
  4.  Add 1/2 dozen big oysters (chopped in quarters), 1 cup milk, 1/4 lb butter and 1 cup stock (stock should not be overpowering – I prefer knorrs veggie.  If you can get seafood stock, use something light like shrimp stock.)
  5.  Simmer for 10 minutes stirring so as it doesn’t burn.
  6.  Add 2 ounces of Dad’s finest cognac, dash crushed pepper, stir and serve.

Sometimes I add some paprika to spice it up.  You shouldn’t need any salt though because of butter.



An old myth specifies the best time to eat oysters is during months that contain an “R” (i.e. September through April) and to avoid eating oysters in months that do not contain an “R” (May through August).

While levels of certain naturally occurring marine bacteria, like Vibrio, are higher in coastal waters during warm weather months, the bacteria may still be present, although in lower levels, during cold weather months.

While most consumers are not susceptible to infection by Vibrio vulnificus, consumers who have certain illnesses or health conditions (see above list) should only eat molluscan shellfish that is cooked and abstain from eating it raw or partially cooked, regardless of the month.

Because heat kills harmful bacteria and viruses, thoroughly cooked oysters, clams, and mussels are safe for anyone to eat all year, as long as they are legally harvested.