Bongo Bongo Soup

Anna Summa

This unusual soup, a Bergeron invention, was perhaps inspired by the soup called boula boula, a puree of pea soup and turtle soup that was popularized by Jacqueline Kennedy in the early 1960s. Trader Vic's uses jarred Pacific coast oysters for this dish.

Bongo Bongo Soup
This unusual soup, a Trader Vic invention, was perhaps inspired by the soup called boula boula, a puree of pea soup and turtle soup.
Yield: serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 (10-oz.) package partially thawed frozen spinach
  • 6 shucked oysters and their liquor
  • 2 tbsp. bottled clam juice
  • 1 small clove garlic, peeled and chopped
  • Freshly ground white pepper
  • 4 cups half-and-half
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 2 tbsp. A.1. Steak Sauce
  • 12 tsp. Tabasco
  • 12 tsp. worcestershire sauce
  • Salt
  • 12 tsp. cornstarch
  • 3 tbsp. heavy cream, chilled

Instructions

  1. Put spinach, oysters and their liquor, clam juice, garlic, and pepper to taste into a medium nonreactive pot over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer, breaking up spinach with the back of a spoon, and simmer until heated through, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a blender and purée until very smooth. Set spinach–oyster mixture aside.
  2. Preheat broiler. Bring half-and-half to a simmer in a medium pot over medium heat. Whisk in butter, then spinach–oyster purée, and return to a simmer. Add steak sauce, Tabasco, worcestershire, and salt to taste. Dissolve cornstarch in 1 tbsp. water, then whisk into soup. Keep soup warm over lowest heat.
  3. Whisk cream in a bowl until soft peaks form. Divide soup between 4 shallow heatproof soup bowls and put a big spoonful of the whipped cream on top of each. Place bowls of soup under broiler briefly to brown cream, then serve soup immediately.