When cooking this on the beach or at a campsite, I opt for pre-shucked oysters -- I either shuck them at home (leaving enough time to get my hand wrapped and go in for that tetanus update, you know, just in case, not that I've had to do that or anything...) and place them in a small jar with their liquid and enough champagne/water to cover them; or if you have a well-stocked fish counter, you could purchase a jar of pre-shucked oysters if you're in a real hurry. Be sure to carefully strain them, regardless -- you need to be sure to remove all the sand, grit, and shell bits that may have made their way into the jar.
1 English cucumber
Greens (sorrel or a good leafy lettuce, not iceberg or other watery green)
3 cups vegetable stock
Juice of ½ lemon
½ cup crème fraiche
1 cup champagne
- Using a vegetable peeler, create long, thin strips of the cucumber. Set aside.
- Shred greens (chiffonade). Set aside.
- Shuck oysters, reserving liquid.
- Combine stock, lemon juice, crème fraiche, and all saved oyster liquid. Bring to a quick boil.
- Carefully add cucumbers and oysters to the hot soup mix, and boil for no more than 30 seconds. Remove from heat immediately.
- Add champagne, salt and pepper.
- To plate, place a mound of cucumbers in the bottom of each bowl. Divide the oysters between the bowls, and pour the hot soup mixture on top.
- Garnish with a generous amount of greens and chopped chives.
- Prepare the cucumbers and oysters at home. Place each in a separate container, covering the oysters with their liquid and either champagne or water.
- Shred greens and chop chives; mix together, and place in one container.
- Combine all liquids except champagne. Measure out champagne and place in a separate container.
- Keep everything refrigerated or on ice until ready to serve.
- Right before serving, heat soup mixture and continue as described above. Be sure to season well with salt and pepper before serving.
Adapted from a recipe by Gordon Ramsay (my hero) at