Here is selection of tasty and appealing soups
French Walnut Soup
- 25g salted butter
- 1 red onion, finely chopped
- 2 celery sticks, finely sliced
- 130g walnut halves, crushed
- 550ml cups vegetable bouillon
- 125ml half and half cream
- 15ml. cornstarch
- 10ml water
- 5ml salt
- 5ml black pepper
- 220ml Asiago cheese, finely grated
Fry onion and celery sticks in butter until softened, about 3 minutes. Put walnuts and onion mixture in a blender. Blend until smooth. Put walnut mixture into a deep pan. Add vegetable bouillon, cream, salt and black pepper. Bring to a boil and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, combine cornstarch and water until smooth. Add cornstarch mixture to soup. Stir constantly until thickened. Add cheese and stir until smooth. Serve hot with crusty rolls.
Creamy Black Walnut and Cherry Soup
This is an American recipe, using American Black Walnuts (and American measures). Meant to be interesting to look at.
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 2 Tablespoons flour
- salt and cayenne pepper
- 5 cups strong chicken or beef stock
- 1/2 cup black walnuts, chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 3 Tablespoons sour cream
- 1/4 teaspoon thyme, rubbed into the soup between palms (more if you're using fresh thyme)
- 1/2 cup tart red cherries, pitted and drained
Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Stir in the flour, salt, and cayenne pepper and continue stirring into a roux. Pour in the stock and whisk until it boils and is slightly thickened. Stir in the walnuts and bay leaf and simmer, partly covered, for 15 minutes. Add the cream, sour cream, and rub the thyme into the pot. Simmer 2 minutes.
When ready to serve, remove the bay leaf and add the cherries. Let heat through for a minute or so, then ladle into bowls and serve immediately.
Walnut and Fennel Soup
A very different soup, with its own special accompaniment.
- 15ml vegetable oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 large bulb fennel, trimmed and chopped
- 900 ml vegetable stock
- 60g chopped walnuts
- 30g butter
- 30g plain flour
- 1/2 egg, beaten
- 90g Sage
- salt and pepper
- 60g cream cheese
- 30ml single cream
- 50g Derby cheese, grated
TO MAKE PUFFS:
Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F/Gas 6). Put butter and 45 ml water into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Add flour off heat and beat until smooth. Cool slightly, then beat in egg and add half Sage Derby and salt and pepper.
Put into a piping bag fitted with small plain nozzle and pipe blobs the size of peas on to a greased baking tray. Bake 7-10 minutes until crisp, then cool slightly and slit each Puff.
TO MAKE SOUP:
Heat oil in a pan, add onion and fennel and cook until soft. Add stock, bring to boil, then simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, beat remaining cheese with cream cheese and cream and use this to fill the Puffs.
Grind three-quarters of the walnuts in a blender or food processor; chop the rest and reserve for garnish. Puree soup until smooth, then return to pan and stir in ground nuts and add salt and pepper.
Reheat gently, and serve garnished with Sage Derby puffs and sprinkled with reserved walnuts.
Walnut and Celery Soup
A savoury and rewarding soup, chills well for picnics.
- 1ml olive oil
- 650ml vegetable or mushroom stock
- 1 head celery
- 2 shallots
- 50g walnuts
- 50ml double cream
- Salt and pepper
Slice the shallots and sweat them in the oil. Slice or roughly chop celery, then add to shallots. Saute for a few minutes until they begin to soften. Heat the stock nearly to boiling, then add it to the pot. Cover and simmer on low until everything is nice and soft, or about 20 minutes.
While this is simmering, toast walnuts (med-low heat in a dry pan, tossing until slightly browned and fragrant). Then combine soup and walnuts in a blender and puree. Stir in cream, add salt & pepper to taste, and serve immediately.
Walnut and Parsley Soup
A markedly different flavour is brought out in this recipe from Italy.
- 200g sweet fresh walnuts
- 60g butter
- 2 leeks, sliced and washed
- 1½ bunches Italian parsley leaves
- 440ml vegetable or (better) mushroom stock
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 60l creme fraiche
Blanch walnuts in boiling salted water for 3 minutes and refresh under cold water. Rub the nuts in a tea towel, then your fingers to remove the skins.
Melt butter in a heavy saucepan. Add leeks and parsley, cover closely with a piece of greaseproof paper and cover with a lid. Sweat over a low heat for 5 minutes. Remove paper and add walnuts and stock. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
Blend soup until smooth in a food processor. Season and return to saucepan. Reheat and stir through the creme fraiche.