Drain oysters and save liquid; oysters may be chopped or left whole as desired.
Add water to oyster liquid to make 1 quart.
In stock pot, combine bay leaf, one onion, and celery and simmer for about 1 hour uncovered.
Remove from heat; allow to cool for about 1 hour, strain, and set aside.
In butter, saute remaining onion and celery; cook for about 5 minutes or until pale in color.
Add flour and stir well, but DO NOT BROWN.
Add some strained oyster stock: stir well to prevent lumps from forming.
Add remaining stock and heat until hot and thickened (about 10-15 minutes).
Add oysters and cream; heat about 5 minutes more.
Add sherry and ladle into serving bowls and garnish with chopped parsley.
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