April 10, 2018 - Creamy Oyster Bisque with Guinness

Many many years ago, back in Australia, I was asked to create 20 recipes for Guinness. They wanted both Mod Oz recipes and traditional - yikes, I'm not even a beer drinker.

I marched across to my local pub, which was at the time, the Carrington Hotel in New South Wales's Blue Mountains, had them put out 10 glasses and put an inch of Guinness in each one.  

The Carrington in a rare snowy moment.

Shock would be mild to say the reaction was!  Not my usual glass of wine or gin and tonic for sure, but they obliged and didn't dare complain when I asked for tomato juice in one, OJ in one, a splash of bitters in one etc etc.  Now I knew Guinness and it's opportunities!

Guinness Steak and Oyster Pie was a given, but then there was Guinness Glazed Salmon, Guinness Risotto with Mushrooms, Glazed Meatloaf, Barbecued Seafood, Blinis and Guinness Fruit Cake (no Americans, nothing like your renowned awful version.)  But the one I'm hankering for now is the Creamy Oyster Bisque, silky, rich, and delectable to savour in  this last bit of rainy weather we are enjoying.

Keep in mind that you will never really experience Guinness in its true glory unless you are in Ireland where it's freshly poured. And their Guinness Storehouse is a "must visit"!

You will learn the history, the aromas, how it's made and experience that wonderful Irish hospitality at one of their many bars.  The rooftop was my favourite!

Creamy Oyster Bisque

Serves 4-6

Soft and silky with a tang of brininess from the oysters, and a mellow richness from the Guinness, this soup is best enjoyed slowly savoring each mouthful, gazing into each other’s eyes.


6 oysters, freshly shucked
1 tablespoon grapeseed or olive oil 1/2 leek, white part only, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1/4 cup Guinness or stout
1/2 cup fish stock
1 1/2 cups diced peeled potato
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
1/2 cup cream or milk
freshly ground pepper, to taste Chervil or parsley for garnish


Tip the liquid off the oysters, and reserve.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the onion and celery. Cook over low heat until onion is transparent. Add the Guinness, stock, potato and thyme and cook until potatoes are soft and most of liquid is absorbed.

Transfer to a blender along with 2 or 3 oysters, milk and pepper, or use an immersion blender in the saucepan to puree until smooth.

Return the bisque to the saucepan with the oyster liquid, reheat gently and serve immediately with a few oysters placed on top of each dish. Garnish with fresh chervil and enjoy with a glass of Guinness (or Champagne).


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