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.
For more from Wild American Shrimp Chef Advocate Carla Snyder buy her book One Pan, Two Plates, available now at AmazonCook Time: 1 hour