Native American Hazelnut Soup

The Algonquin, Iroquois, and most other Native people of the northern woodlands regions prepared nuts in many ways, including versions of this delicious soup.

Native American Hazelnut Soup


  • 1 pound hazelnuts
  • 6 to 8 ramps, green onions, white part only
  • 1/2 cup watercress, including tender stems
  • 2 tablespoons hazelnut, sunflower or corn oil
  • About 4 cups vegetable stock or water
  • 2 teaspoons sea or kosher salt


  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Spread the hazelnuts on a baking sheet and place in the oven. Cook for 12 to 15 minutes, until toasted.
  3. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. When cool enough to handle, place the nuts in a kitchen towel and rub vigorously to remove as much of the papery skins as possible.
  4. Trim the roots from the ramps and remove any woody stems and flowers. Thinly slice the ramps, with their tops on, and set aside.
  5. Rinse and drain the watercress, removing woody stems or pale leaves. Chop the watercress coarsely.
  6. Heat the oil over medium heat in a large saucepan. Add the ramps and watercress and wilt for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring continuously.
  7. Add the stock and hazelnuts. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Decrease the heat to medium-low and simmer for about 30 minutes, until the nuts are softened and the flavors have developed.
  8. In small batches, transfer the soup to a food processor or blender and process until smooth (don't fill the processor more than 1/3 full.)
  9. Return the puree to the saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add more liquid to thin, if necessary, and stir in the salt.
  10. Ladle into warm bowls and serve immediately.

Source: Foods of the Americas: Native Recipes and Traditions