In the new animated feature from Disney, “Tangled,” an old crone named Mother Gothel, voiced with malevolent glee by Donna Murphy, keeps threatening Rapunzel with a hazelnut soup that has parsnips in it. It’s a running gag that has probably had more than one kid gagging at the thought. But it had the opposite effect on me. I wanted to run home and make a batch of it.
The thought of toasted hazelnuts mingling with a strong vegetable stock and a touch of heavy cream led me to a recipe that was just what I had in mind. It even had a parsnip in it.
Creamy hazelnut soup
1 cup ground hazelnuts
3 tablespoons butter
2 shallots, thinly sliced
1 medium leek, white only, chopped
1 parsnip, chopped
1 tablespoon flour
1 quart vegetable stock
1 cup heavy cream or half-and-half
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
1/8 cup chopped hazelnuts, roasted
Roast the ground hazelnuts in a pan (no fat necessary as the nuts contain enough for them not to stick or burn) until they emit a strong sweet smell.
Add the butter, shallots, leek and parsnip, and cook them for about 10 minutes or until soft. Dust with the flour and incorporate.
Add the stock and simmer for 20 minutes. Pour in the heavy cream.
Purée the soup in a blender and strain through a sieve, if desired. (For a more rustic texture, you don’t have to strain the soup.) Return to the pan, season with salt and pepper and reduce to the desired consistency.
Sprinkle with roasted hazelnuts to serve.
Makes 6 small appetizer servings.
Adapted from thepassionatecook.com