2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 medium onions, cut into 1/4 inch dice
1 pound baking potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/4 inch dice
1 medium fennel bulb, trimmed, halved, cored and cut into 1/4 Inch dice
1 medium carrot, cut into 1/4 inch dice
3 cups fish stock or 1 1/2 cups bottled clam juice mixed with 1 1/2 cups water
2 cups half and half
1/2 pound slab bacon, cut into 1/4 inch dice
2 dozen shucked oysters, with their liquor
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Melt the butter in a large nonreactive saucepan. Add the onions and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 8 minutes. Add the potatoes, fennel, carrot, fish stock and half-and-half, reduce the heat to moderately low and simmer gently until the vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.
Strain the stew into a bowl; set aside 1 1/2 cups of the vegetables. Transfer the remaining vegetables along with 2 cups of the liquid to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Return the puree to the saucepan and stir in the reserved vegetables and liquid.
In a medium skillet, cook the bacon over moderately high heat until browned and crisp, about 8 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain.
Rewarm the stew over moderate heat. Add the oysters with their liquor and the bacon and cook until the oysters are just firm, 2 to 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and stir in the parsley. Transfer to shallow soup plates and serve at once.
bacon recipe courtesy of: Food & Wine