Hello all and welcome to “Fantastic Feasts and Where to Find Them”. This blog is here to combine geekery with culinary artistry to try and recreate dishes and drinks you’ve probably only dreamed about tasting.
So let’s get started, with a look at an unusual soup featured in Disney’s Tangled
So for those of you who haven’t watched this movie, there’s a brief scene where the film’s antagonist, Mother Gothel, comes home to her “daughter”, Rapnuzel with a “big surprise”: Parsnips! And what is she going to make with those parsnips?
I know it doesn’t sound particularly appetizing; parsnip just doesn’t roll right off the tongue, and hazelnuts in a savory dish? Cue the many “Ews” from children throughout the land. Truthfully, I wasn’t sold by the idea either (I like my hazelnuts paired with chocolate), but after a few cursory searches for some recipe inspiration, I’ve found this soup to be a surprising treat.
This recipe is more like a glorified mushroom soup, so don’t fret over the nuts or the ‘nips. The addition of a wide variety of ‘shrooms—crimini, chanterelles, shitake, and porcini—gives this soup body, makes it rich, and if you like mushrooms then this is definitely something to try.
To this earthy mushroom base there’s the hazelnuts, which add a cloying sweetness, different but pleasant, and it adds a bit of texture to the soup. Then there are the parsnips, which are something like a sweet carrot (And apparently healthier for you!); I think the mushrooms might have overpowered their flavor, but I can assure you that it did smell good when they were cooking! Cook this down, then puree it a bit, and you have a nice, autumnal soup perfect for those cooler nights.
Also, you can definitely make this vegetarian friendly by substituting the chicken broth for vegetable broth, and if you follow Eat.Drink.Think’s recipe link, there’s a mushroom broth recipe to increase that flavor.
Difficulty: Medium if only for its tediousness; there’s a lot of little steps that you shouldn’t skimp out on!
- 2/3 cup of hazelnuts
- 2 and-a-half tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
- 1 pound crimini mushrooms, stems removed and sliced thinly
- ½ pound wild mushroom mix if available (The one I picked up at Whole Foods had shitake, chanterelles, porcini, and more criminis!)
- 2 small parsnips, peeled and sliced into chunks
- 1 medium leek, white part only, chopped
- *About 4 cups of chicken stock and half a cup of water
- Salt and pepper
- ** Note: The stock is not an exact measurement; I ended up adding more water because during the simmering process the soup reduced a little too much
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Roast hazelnuts for 10 minutes until their skins are cracked.
Remove from oven and QUICKLY place on a kitchen towel, then rub vigorously to remove as much skin as possible.
Leave to cool, then grind in a food processor (If you’re fortunate) or place in a plastic bag and crush as finely as possible then set aside.
Once that’s all done and you’ve had your work-out for the day, it’s time to prep all the vegetables:
First chop up your leek
Next let’s deal with those parsnips and those ‘shrooms
When you’re ready to go, melt butter in a saucepan.
First add ground (Or in this case, hot-chocolate-mix-crushed) hazelnuts and cook until they emit a sweet smell; be careful not to burn them.
Next add the garlic, mushroom slices, leeks, and parsnips and sauté for about 10 minutes to soften, stirring frequently. Then cover with a lid and let simmer, until all the liquid from the mushrooms evaporate; this takes about another 10 or so minutes.
Add the stock then simmer for about 20 minutes; if the soup reduces too much, add more broth or water.
Once it’s done simmering, puree the soup in a blender until you’ve your reached desired consistency.
Return to the pot and add the heavy cream. Gently reheat and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Makes about 4 servings; or 6 small servings (And just enough to feed one university student for a few days)