The Gourmet Highway-Alligator Point Oyster & Artichoke Soup

Doc Lawrence

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Oyster & Artichoke SoupDoc Lawrence Productions

By Doc Lawrence

The Gourmet Highway is equal parts imagination blended with actual experience. These journeys allow the palate to expand with each meal, providing an additional benefit that invariably comes with wines, when poured, that are either familiar or exciting introductions. Since ancient times, the dinner table has been a birthplace of friendship and love. Those who share good food and fine wines soon feel a soulful exhilaration, a spiritual reward rooted in our culinary DNA.

Food is an adventure, a salute to geographical diversity and the many cultures that contribute to enjoyment. Julia Child personified the ritual of dining, always enthusiastic when introduced to new dishes. Nothing is written in stone: we welcome culinary explorations that excite and stimulate. Above all, we share with others, strengthen friendships, and are always open to creating new relationships. The dinner table works magic, a vehicle to a higher life.

This recipe was collected as I traveled the Gourmet Highway along the rural Gulf Coast of Northwest Florida. Often called “Original Florida,” food is uniformly fresh and the locals welcome diners with open arms.

Alligator Point Artichoke & Oyster Soup

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 bunch green onions, chopped

1 tsp. minced garlic

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups fat-free chicken broth

1 pint Apalachicola oysters (reserve 1/2 cup liquid)

1 bay leaf

1/2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves

Dash cayenne pepper

2 (14-ounce) cans artichoke hearts, drained and coarsely chopped

1/4 cup chopped parsley

1 cup half-and-half

1/4 cup sherry

Fresh thyme leaves

Directions:

In a medium saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat; add green onion and garlic and cook for 5 minutes. Add flour, stirring constantly, until combined. Gradually add chicken broth and oyster liquid. Add bay leaf, thyme, and cayenne and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes. Add oysters, artichokes, and parsley; cook until oysters curl around the edges, about 10 minutes.

Stir in half-and-half and sherry and cook until thoroughly heated. Remove bay leaf before serving. Garnish with fresh thyme leaves.

Serve with Manzanilla Sherry.

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Veteran journalist, editor and publisher (Nationwide News), and published author specializing in food, wine, drinks, visual and performing arts, travel and cultural tourism. Currently writing a screenplay, "Requiem for a Wine Taster."

Stone Mountain, GA
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