This unique style of recipe is well known in Native American cooking as it uses tree nuts that have been ground and used for thickening, flavor, as well as for the protein that the nuts provide.
- 2 c. pecans (or walnuts, hickory nuts, or other tree nut)
- 1 tbsp. oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1/8 c. maple syrup or honey
- 1 c. pureed pumpkin, carrot or sweet potato
- 1 sprig of thyme, leaves only
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 sage leaves, chopped
- 1 dried pepper pod, optional
- 3 to 5 c. broth (vegetable or chicken works best), depending on how thick you want your soup
- salt, to taste
- Roasted sweet potato cubes or toasted pecan pieces to top the soup, optional
- Spread pecans on a baking sheet and place in an 300 degree oven and toast, tossing once while cooking, until fragrant and lightly browned. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
- Meanwhile, in a heavy bottom pot over medium high heat, add the oil. When oil is hot, add the onion. Saute until onion is translucent and starting to brown slightly.
- Add maple syrup to the onions and stir. Allow onions to cook in maple syrup for about 30 seeconds.
- Add the puree, thyme, bay leaf, pepper pod and sage. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Place toasted pecans in a food processor and pulse until they are finely chopped, almost a paste. Set aside.
- Return onion mixture to stovetop and add about 3 cups of stock. Bring it to a simmer.
- Add ground pecans to the pot in three additions. Stir continuously while doing this. If the soup is too thick once the pecans are added, add more stock to bring the soup to your desired thickness.
- Allow soup to continue to simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes. Check for seasoning and add salt as needed.
- Remove bay leaf and pepper pod. You can enjoy the soup at its current consistancy, or you can puree it further if so desired.
- Ladel into bowls and serve topped with cubes of roasted sweet potato and/or toasted chopped pecans, if desired.