Monday, May 23, 2011

Thursday (5/26): Rapunzel's Hazelnut Soup

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Okay, if you're a mom of a little girl, you have undoubtedly seen the movie Tangled.  My girls have watched it so many times I know the whole thing by heart.  When the "fake mother" (as we refer to her) mentions making hazelnut cooking ears perked up.  Hazelnut soup?  Wonder what that tastes like?  So, I started surfing the net and well, leave it to Disney to take care of things for me!  They published their Rapunzel version of hazelnut soup and safe to say, my girls are stoked about making it with me.  I'm sure we'll have to make it a movie night and have dinner in front of the TV!  

Note: this dish is a bit time you could save it for a weekend meal and make together with your kids.

Ingredients for the soup: 
  • 2 lb butternut squash, seeded and cut into 6 sections
  • 1 lb parsnips, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 green apple, peeled, cored, and quartered
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 medium brown onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 cups of chicken stock, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Salt and white pepper to taste
  • 1 cup raw hazelnuts (for topping)

To Roast Hazelnuts:
Preheat oven to 275 degrees F

1. Place 1 cup of raw Hazelnuts on a parchment lined baking sheet.

2. Bake for 25 - 30 minutes, or until the hazelnut skins burst.

3. Remove from oven and let cool. When cool enough to handle, roll hazelnuts between paper towels to remove skins. Place skinless hazelnuts into a small plastic bag and crush using a rolling pin.

(to save time, this could be made a day or two ahead)

For Soup:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
4. Line a baking dish with parchment paper and drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil on top.

5. Arrange butternut squash in the baking dish, skin side up. Scatter chopped parsnip and apple quarters around the squash. Top with a few sprigs of fresh thyme. Pour a quarter cup of water into the baking dish.

6. Bake uncovered for 45-50 minutes, or until a knife slides easily through the skin of the squash.

7. Remove the baking dish from the oven and throw away the sprigs of thyme. Set aside to cool.

8. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in a pan over medium low heat. Add thinly sliced onion and half a teaspoon of salt to the pan and sauté slowly about 10 minutes, or until the onions are soft and translucent, but not browned. Turn off the heat.

9. When squash is cool enough to handle, use a paring knife to peel the skin from the butternut squash, discarding the skins. Place the peeled squash into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse into a smooth purée, about 20 seconds. Pour purée into a large stockpot or Dutch oven.

10. Place roasted parsnips, apple and sautéed onion into the bowl of the food processor. Add 1 cup of the chicken stock. Purée 20-30 seconds, or until smooth. If the purée is too dry, thin it using an additional half cup of chicken stock.
Note: Do not fill a food processor more than half full with hot liquids. Doing so could result in the top or bottom of the food processor bowl blowing off due to pressure.

11. Add puréed parsnip and onion mixture to the squash in the stockpot. Add the remaining chicken stock to the pot and raise the heat to medium high. Bring soup to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer.

12. While soup is simmering add a half teaspoon of ground cumin, as well as salt and white pepper to taste. Before serving, stir in a half cup of heavy cream.

13. Serve in bowls or insulated cups and top with the crushed roasted hazelnuts.

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