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This chilled watercress velouté recipe from Pascal Aussignac makes a perfect summer soup, especially when served with a tangy lemongrass oyster accompaniment.
Place the oysters, flat-side up, in a steamer basket over a pan of boiling water. Cover and steam for 1 minute. The oysters should have opened. Carefully reserve the oyster juices in a cup
8 oysters, large and fresh
Remove the oysters from their shells and leave to cool. Then cut the lemongrass stalks into thin skewers and pierce an oyster on each. Chill until ready to serve
4 lemongrass sticks
Gently sauté the shredded lettuces with 2 tbsp olive oil in a saucepan for about 5 minutes, until softened but not coloured
1/3 iceberg lettuce, shredded
1/2 baby gem lettuce, shredded
Cut the stalks from the watercress and parsley and blanch for 1 minute. Add the watercress leaves and parsley leaves, then blanch for another 2 minutes
2 bunches of watercress
1 bunch of flat-leaf parsley
Drain in a colander and plunge into a big bowl of iced water. Leave for 5 minutes, then drain, pressing down on the leaves to extract the water. Keep the liquor for blending and adjusting the texture of your velouté
Mix the lettuces and the wilted watercress and parsley in a blender with the reserved oyster juices and the butter. Blitz until smooth
1 knob of butter
Add seasoning to taste, then pour and rub the velouté through a fine sieve into a bowl. Chill until ready to serve
Once ready to serve, heat a little olive oil in a frying pan and sauté the skewered oysters for a few seconds on each side to reheat and lightly colour
Pour the chilled velouté into 4 soup plates and serve with two oyster skewers balanced on the side