This soup has a story-literally. I teach first grade and one of my students wrote a story about going to the store and buying pistachio soup. I was so curious about this soup, since I’ve never seen it on the shelves myself, that when his mother came in to volunteer, I asked her about it. She told me that they hadn’t actually bought it, but made it at home. It’s a recipe from Iran and she graciously shared it with me along with a few others I’m anxious to try soon!
The longest part of this recipe was shelling the pistachios, so prepare yourself for that. I don’t really mind doing it though because they are a beautiful nut and I did snack on several to keep me energized.
The other ingredients were fairly simple but surprising. Seville orange juice is not what I would have expected in a nut soup, but it added a nice finishing note. If you don’t have Seville oranges, which I can never find, you use a combination of orange and lime juice to add that sour note.
It was a delicious soup. I only had two troubles with it. One was what to serve with it…I ended up making paninis out of some chicken, mozzarella and sun-dried tomatoes I had and wanted to use up. We thought they were a good compliment to the soup, but even better I think would be caramelized onions, prosciutto and maybe Gruyere paninis. The other trouble is the need for a toothpick to get all those little bits of nut out of your teeth! But it was well worth the effort. I also topped it with a dollop of creme fraiche to add hint of creaminess. And then, “Nush-e Jan!” (Which, according the kind parent who shared this recipe, means “Enjoy your food!” in Farsi.)
About an hour
(Recipe from “New Food of Life” by Najimich Batmanglij)
1 cup pistachio, shelled
3 tbsp butter or oil
1 shallot, chopped
1/2 cup Seville orange juice or mixture of 1/4 cup orange juice and 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 leek, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 tbsp rice flour(which I didn’t have, so used regular flour)
6 cups chicken stock
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 tbsp slivered pistachios for garnish
1/4 cup creme fraiche
-Grind pistachios in food processor or grinder. In a heavy pot, heat butter or oil over medium heat. Add shallot, leek and garlic. Gently stew them and cover until translucent. Add rice flour and stir to cook for 1-2 minutes. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil.
-Add pistachios, salt and pepper and reduce heat. Simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally for 20 minutes.
-Remove from heat and add orange juice. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve with a dollop of creme fraiche and slivered pistachios on top. Can be served either hot or cold and can be made with hazelnuts or almonds.