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Hazelnut Chowder

Ingredients:

  • 1 oz. salted butter
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup crushed hazelnuts (or filberts)
  • 2 garlic cloves, halved
  • 5 oz. wild rice (white rice will do - but won't be as flavorful)
  • 2 celery sticks, thinly sliced
  • 2 carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup enoki mushrooms, finely chopped (any type of mushroom can be used)
  • 4 potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 cups vegetable stock (chicken stock is also okay)
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup cognac (optional)
  • 5 fl.oz. half and half cream
  • 1 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 2 tsp. water
  • salt to taste
  • black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup Gouda cheese, grated

Instructions:

  • Fry onion and garlic in butter until softened, about 3 minutes.
  • Put hazelnuts, butter and onion mixture in a blender. Blend until smooth.
  • Put hazelnut mixture into a deep pan. Add rice, celery, carrots, mushrooms, potatoes, broth, nutmeg, cognac, cream, salt and black pepper.
  • Bring to a boil and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • While this is happening, combine cornstarch and water until smooth.
  • Add cornstarch mixture to soup.
  • Stir constantly until thickened.
  • Add cheese and mix until melted.

NOTE: There are a lot of options in this soup. The wild rice, enoki mushrooms and hazelnuts give a "woodsy taste". Changing to white rice, button mushrooms and another nut will soften the taste.

For a completely different taste try Cheddar instead of Gouda, but Cheddar is not known for melting well, so be careful. Experiment with other Cheeses as well, such as Edam. Add some crusty bread and you've got a wonderful winter meal!




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