It's easy to go nutty this time of the year when hazelnuts, almonds, walnuts, pecans and chestnuts fill produce bins in the supermarket.
Nuts are to soup what flour is to sauce. They thicken and they add texture. The best part is that each nut's flavor can transform a pretty good soup into a sublime creation with depth and character, two attributes that rise above a mere nuttiness.
- 2 tablespoons nut or safflower oil
- 3 stalks celery, diced
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 1 russet potato, peeled and diced
- 1 white rose or yellow finn potato, peeled and diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 to 3 tablespoons favorite curry powder
- 1 1/2 quarts (6 cups) low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth (may substitute 3 cups water and 3 cups milk)
- 2 to 4 tablespoons potato flour
- 1/2 cup heavy (whipping) cream
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup roasted cashews, coarsely chopped
Heat the oil in a heavy soup pot over medium-high heat. Saute the celery, onion and carrots until the onions are soft. Stir in the potatoes and garlic. Add the curry powder and saute for 1 minute, then stir in the stock. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer until the vegetables are soft.
Combine the potato flour with a little of the soup liquid to make a runny paste. Stir enough of it back into the soup to thicken the mixture. Stir in the cream and heat until the soup reaches the desired consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Before serving, add a generous helping of cashews.
From California food writer and cooking teacher Heidi Cusick.
Tested by The Washington Post.
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