1 leek, white and pale green parts, thinly sliced, about 3/4 cup/175 ml
1 red skin potato, unpeeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice, about 3/4 cup/175 ml
1 tsp/5 ml minced parsley
1/4 tsp/1/25 ml dried thyme
1/4 tsp salt/1.25 ml plus more for sprinkling
2 tbsp/30 ml flour
2 cups/480 ml half and half
1 cup/249 ml clam juice
8 oz/ 225 g oysters, the liquid strained and reserved, oysters cut in half if larger than 1-in
6 medium shrimp, shelled and deveined
1 tbsp/15 ml butter
2 slices of bacon
Freshly ground black pepper
A baguette or oyster crackers as an accompaniment
Slice the leek, dice the potato and mince the parsley on a large cutting board into individual piles. Measure out the thyme, salt, flour, half and half, clam juice, oysters, shrimp, butter and bacon.
Heat a medium saucepan over medium-high heat and cook the bacon until crispy, about 2 minutes. Transfer the bacon to a plate, crumble when cool and set aside.
Add the butter to the hot fat in the pan along with the leeks and dried thyme. Saute the vegetables until soft, about 2 minutes. Add the thyme, salt, flour and a few grinds of pepper and stir it into the leeks. Stir for about 1 minute to cook off the raw taste. Add the half and half, clam juice and the oyster liquid stirring until blended. Add the potato and bring the soup to a simmer. Reduce the heat and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 8 minutes. Add the crumbled bacon, oysters, shrimp and parsley and cook for another 3 minutes or until the oysters and shrimp are cooked through. Taste and season with a squirt of lemon and more salt or pepper if it needs it.
Ladle the soup into heated bowls and garnish them with a sprinkle of the cayenne. Serve with the baguette or oyster crackers.