Heavenly Hazelnut-Mushroom Soup

Hazelnut-Mushroom Soup

Last Saturday we had a dinner party, and last night a friend came round to finish up the leftovers.  I had forgotten how wonderful this soup is, both fresh and after a day or so in the fridge  With its creamy (but vegan) texture, and the subtle combination of mushrooms and hazelnuts set off by smoked salt and chives, this recipe really is inspired!

Hazelnut-Mushroom Soup

This fabulous soup is vegan and gluten-free.  I typically use 8-12 oz each white (Paris) and brown (Crimini) mushrooms; if you can find chanterelles or other wild mushrooms, they definitely add a wonderful flavor!

This recipe takes about an hour to make, start to finish;  it serves 6-8 as a first course (or in my case, four as a starter, with wonderful leftovers).

Ingredients:

1 large cup hazelnuts – about 8 oz, toasted and hulled, then processed
1½ lb chanterelles or wild mushrooms (or a mixture of white and Crimini mushrooms)
2-3 fl oz olive oil, or as needed to sauté the mushrooms
2 medium or 1 large sweet onion, finely diced
2-3 stalks celery, thinly sliced
1 good-sized carrot, thinly sliced or diced
1 large potato, in small dice
6 cups vegetable stock – I use Knorr stock cubes or Better than Bouillon paste
Smoked salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Optional: 2 Tbsp brandy or dry sherry

Garnish: Fresh or freeze-dried chives

Method:

1.  Heat the oven to 300F, and toast the hazelnuts on a shallow baking tray for 10-15 minutes. Use your hands to remove the papery hulls. Process in a NutriBullet or food processor until finely chopped.

2.   Meanwhile, heat the olive in a heavy saucepan over low heat. Add the onion and sauté gently stirring occasionally, until the onion is limp, translucent, and just starting to turn gold.

3.   Add the sliced celery, carrot, and potato;  continue to cook over medium heat, stirring often, for five minutes.

4.   Separately, slice the mushrooms;  sauté in batches over brisk heat for five minutes per batch, turning frequently.

5.   Add the stock and hazelnuts;  simmer for 20 minutes. Allow to cool for ten minutes, then puree using a NutriBullet or food processor until perfectly smooth.  If it seems too thick, thin out with a little plant milk.

6.   Separately, slice the mushrooms, then sauté in batches over brisk heat for five minutes per batch, turning frequently. Add the mushrooms to the puréed soup, and warm through. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then stir in the (0ptional) brandy.  Cover the pot, place in the fridge, and chill overnight.

7.   When ready to serve, gently heat the soup through, and adjust the seasonings.

8.   Present in flat soup plates, garnished with a sprinkle of chives on each serving.

And HERE, of course, is the .pdf file if you want to print it out.

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