Monday, August 8, 2016

Almond Cream Soup

I remembered making some kind of almond soup in school, but couldn't find the recipe.  I think it's in the textbook I gave Techie Smurf years ago so he could hone his techniques.

There were two kinds of almond soup online.  One is a famous style of Spanish soup, brothy with bits of almond.  That wasn't what I had in mind, but it does sound good.

I'm pretty sure what I had was similar to this cream of almond soup.  In the 15 years or so since I made this last, almond meal or almond flour has become easy to find in markets.  You don't need to grind your own.  This also makes it cheaper.  Don't despair if you buy a whole package and only use some for this soup; there are plenty of uses including pie crust, macarons & macaroons, coating truffles, gluten-free breadcrumbs, on ice cream, and even in salad dressing.

This soup is creamy and yummy, but doesn't taste as much like almonds as I expected it to.  And it's so thin that the almond garnish instantly sank.  You could probably get a similar taste by heating broth and almond milk with a touch of cream (or no cream for vegans).

2 Tb butter
1 clove garlic
1 large rib of celery, thinly sliced
3 cups chicken or veggie broth
2/3 C almond meal
1/8 tsp mace
1 C heavy cream
salt to taste
sliced or slivered almonds for garnish

1.  Start melting butter over medium heat in a heavy saucepan.  Smack the garlic hard with the side of a knife to crush it and make it easy to peel.  Heat the garlic and celery in the butter until softened, about 5 minutes.

2.  Add broth and bring to a boil.  Stir in almond meal and mace.  Lower heat to a simmer, cover, and allow to cook until celery is very soft, at least half an hour.

3.  Remove from heat and allow soup to cool at room temperature for at least half an hour.  This will allow the almond meal to continue to infuse into the broth and make the next step less risky.

4.  Using either an immersion blender or working in batches (I almost exploded the lid trying to do it all in one) in a regular blender, purée soup until smooth.  Strain back into the saucepan to remove almond grit and larger bits of celery.  Return to stove at a low heat and add cream.  Taste and add salt if necessary.  Serve hot or cold, but note that a chilled soup will need more salt.  Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with almonds to garnish.

Makes 1 quart, or 4 appetizer servings

Difficulty rating  π

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