Almond soup was a favourite in our home growing up. The only difference between then and now is access to a very special kind of almond from the kernel of the apricot fruit and not the fruit of the almond tree itself, which is what we buy in North America. Having been requested to share the recipe, I prepared it last night and here it is to enjoy as best as we can!
This soup is delicate in flavour and does not need to be doused with milk or cream nor overpowered by seasoning. However, if you are looking for bold tastes and any kind of kick, this one is not the one you are after!
Serves 4 to 6 persons
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion
4 stalks of celery
1 small potato
2 stems of parsley
1 bay leaf
3 cup chicken stock
3 oz/85gm blanched, peeled and ground almonds
Salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste
In a pan, melt the oil and butter. Add roughly chopped onion to it. Allow it to saute for 5 minutes till it is soft and translucent. Add the celery and potatoes and cook for another 10 minutes. Add the parsley and bay leaf. Pour in the chicken stock. Bring it to a boil, cover, lower the heat to a simmer, and allow it to cook for 20 minutes.
Now add the almonds, mix well and continue cooking for another 20 minutes, covered and on a low flame. Turn off the heat and allow it to cool for 5 minutes.
Remove the parsley and bay leaf before pulverising.
With an immersion blender, pulverise the soup to a creamy thickness.
Season it with salt. Optionally, add black or white pepper and/or freshly grated nutmeg to taste.
To serve, ladle it into bowls, add a swirl of cream and top with roughly chopped salted roasted almonds and finely chopped fresh parsley leaf.
Not to take away from the flavours, but adding a teaspoon of dry sherry can be delicious for some.
The chicken stock is the basis and will make a difference. Use your favourite recipe or store-bought stock.
This soup can easily be adapted to make it vegetarian or vegan by using a vegetarian stock.
I used store-bought ready almond powder or meal, which is granular.
The size of my onion and potato were like a large "plum".
Bay leaves are bitter when crushed.
The soup will turn ''green'' and the flavour will change if the parsley stems are not removed.
My published cookbooks are available for sale through myself and on Amazon.
The World of Parsi Cooking: Food Across Borders is a 3 award winning book. It has been self published in July 2019 and will be going into its second print in 2022.
The Art of Parsi Cooking; reviving an ancient cuisine was published in 2016 by Austin Macauley and continues to be available through amazon book depot book depository and from the publishers.
Photo courtesy Niloufer Mavalvala