~ adapted from COOKS.COM
1 pint fresh shucked oysters (drained & liquor reserved)
1 lb. fresh stemmed spinach
1 1/2 cup chicken stock or canned broth
4 Tbsp. butter
1 small minced onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 rib finely chopped celery
2 c. half & half or light cream
3 tbsp. Pernod
1/4 c. freshly grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
1 1/2 tsp. anise seed
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. freshly ground pepper
Lemon slices for garnish
Or use 1 (10 oz.) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry. If using fresh spinach, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the spinach and cook until just wilted, 1 minute. Drain and rinse under cold running water. Squeeze as dry as possible. Place the fresh or frozen spinach in a food processor and turn the machine on and off until finely chopped.
In a large saucepan, melt 4 Tbsp. butter over moderately high heat. Add the onion, garlic and celery and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the remaining chicken stock, oyster liquor and the spinach. Slowly add the half & half and mix well. Simmer the soup for 8 minutes, stirring constantly to blend the flavors.
Add the Pernod and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the cheese, anise seed, salt and pepper and simmer for 2 minutes longer. Remove from the heat and add the oysters. Garnish each serving with additional freshly grated cheese topped with a slice of lemon.
"As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy and to make plans."
Ernest Hemingway ~ A Moveable Feast