Eastern Shore Oyster Stew Recipe

This is a simple soup to prepare, but a delicious soup to eat. A rich and creamy base and accents of warm spices pair perfectly with Virginia oysters.


1-1/2 cups milk

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 pint shucked oysters, liquor reserved

4 chives, chopped



Warm the milk, cream, salt, white pepper, nutmeg and cayenne in a large saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until hot, about 10 minutes.

Warm the butter over low heat in a medium saucepan until melted. Add the oysters and liquor, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the edges of the oysters begin to curl, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the oyster mixture to the milk mixture, and cook on medium-low heat for about 2 minutes; do not boil.

Divide the soup among four serving bowls and garnish with the chives before serving.

Yields 4 servings

This recipe appears in Evans-Hylton’s book, Dishing Up Virginia: 145 Recipes That Celebrate Colonial Traditions and Contemporary Flavors (Storey Publishing, 2013).

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