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1-1/2 Tbs. olive oil

8 oz. sliced shiitake mushrooms (4 cups)

1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped

salt and freshly ground black pepper

1-1/2 cups bottled clam juice

3/4 cup heavy cream

1 lb. shucked oysters (liquor reserved)

1-1/2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme

Heat the oil in a wide, heavy-duty 5- to 6-quart pot or a deep 12-inch skillet over high heat until hot. Add the mushrooms and onion and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until the mushrooms are wilted and the onion is softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in the clam juice and cream and bring to a boil. Add the oysters and their liquor and simmer, adjusting the heat as necessary, until the oysters plump and their edges curl, about 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve the chowder sprinkled with thyme.

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