Oysters Voisin Bisque with Sacred Herb
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
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Serves: 4 to 6
  • 1 quart shucked Louisiana oysters
  • 1 cup quality oyster liquor
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 cup diced white onion
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • ½ cup diced green bell pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup Herbsaint liqueur
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 cups firmly-packed fresh spinach leaves, stems removed
  • 1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 packages (5.5 ounce) Boursin with Garlic and Fine Herbs cheese
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • Dash of hot sauce
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 1 package Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry sheets
  • 1 egg
  • Baguette slices, toasted
  1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
  2. Remove 1 dozen oysters from the container to a chopping board, chop them coarsely and move to a cold metal bowl. Remove another dozen oysters from the container and move them straight to the same metal bowl. Remove 1 cup of oyster liquor from the container and reserve. Refrigerate all.
  3. In a large saucepan over medium heat, add the butter. Once the butter is melted, add the onions, celery, and bell pepper and cook until the onions turn translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and flour and continue cooking while whisking constantly to make a light roux.
  4. Once the flour has absorbed the butter and has cooked out the flour taste, about 5 minutes, add half of the Herbsaint. Cook until the alcohol begins to burn off, about 3 minutes, and then add the heavy cream along with the fresh thyme, spinach leaves, and lemon juice. Continue cooking and stirring as the cream reduces by half.
  5. Unwrap two of the packages of Boursin cheese and chop it into chunks. Add the cheese to the pot along with some of the half and half. Continue cooking on a low simmer as the ingredients come together. Add more of the half and half to thin out the thickened soup. Add the white pepper and a dash of hot sauce to taste. Correct the seasoning by adding salt, if needed.
  6. Bring the bisque to a simmer, but careful not to let it boil. Add the rest of the Herbsaint as well as more of the half and half, and let it cook for another 5 minutes. Turn the heat off and add the remaining oysters.
  7. Unpackage the puff pastry and move to a cutting board. Turn the ramekins over and cut a square large enough to fit over the opening of the bowl. With the reserved puff pastry sheets, cut a “V” shape and place on top of the pastry squares.
  8. Fill the bowls with the oyster bisque and place the pastry squares over the bowls and crease around the edges. Brush the egg on top. Place them on a cookie sheet and move to the oven. Cook until the pastry bakes to a golden brown. Remove from the oven.
  9. Open the remaining package of Boursin and spread the baguette slices with a thick layer of cheese. Place them on a sheet pan and place in the oven under the broiler. Watch closely. It will only take seconds for the cheese to brown and melt. Remove from the oven and serve immediately.
You will need to buy more oysters than you need in order to get the liquor. You can scale this recipe easily if you want to use all of the oysters. Be careful not to over season this dish since the oyster flavor is delicate and all-important. Gulf oysters are salty so be careful in adding salt at the end. Taste first.
Recipe by Acadiana Table at /2013/04/22/oysters-voisin-bisque/