Mother Gothel may have actually known best when it comes to hazelnut soup.
Inspired by the movie Tangled, this hazelnut soup is only mentioned – but never seen – in the film. It is described as Rapunzel’s favorite and Mother Gothel shows up with a bundle of parsnips in order to make the soup. Other than hazelnuts and parsnips there are no other confirmed ingredients, though I assume that most of the ingredients would have to be gathered from the forest they live in and not picked up within the walls of Corona (the name of the kingdom Princess Rapunzel was kidnapped from).
This means root vegetables, fresh herbs and other foragables can be added into the soup. But the real star of the dish are the freshly roasted hazelnuts.
I also recommend you use a cast iron pan – like a dutch oven or deep bottomed frying pan – to make the soup. Not just because the movie proves that cast iron are multi-use though.
Cast iron really does provide a consistent amount of even heat that will cook the soup to perfection.
Roasting Whole Hazelnuts
The key ingredient to this soup is unsurprisingly the soup’s namesake: hazelnuts. I found it difficult in my end of the world to find pre-shelled and roasted hazelnuts meaning that I had to roast and shell them myself.
First roast the hazelnuts in their shells for about 20-30 minutes. In order to tell if the hazelnuts are finished, crack one open. If the nut is pale after removing the shell and skin, keep roasting until the hazelnut is lightly browned and the skin peels off easily.
Once the hazelnuts are roasted and cooled in their shells, use a meat malet or nut cracker to crack open the nuts shells. You don’t have to hit them particularly hard, just with enough even heat to crack open the shells, which should easily fall away.
When all of the shells have been removed, place the hazelnuts into a clean dish towel and lightly rub until the skins come off. If the skins are hard to remove, try roasting the hazelnuts for a few minutes – be careful not to burn the hazelnuts! And if they are being even more stubbon, you can use a mesh sieve to gently rub off the skins through the screen.
Hazelnut soup is creamy and similar to chowder in texture. Hazelnuts taste similar to a cashew, giving the soup a sweet undertone of nutty flavor that plays perfectly with the tangy notes of parsnip. I can see why this would be a favorite of the daughter you’ve trapped high up in your tower.
This is certainly a unique stew that reminds me of something that you would be able to cook with items gathered from the forest, just like Mother Gothel would have had to do to make the soup for rapunzel.
Mother Gothel’s Hazelnut Soup from Tangled
- butchers twine for herb bundle
- 1 ½ cups whole hazelnuts
- 4 strips bacon chopped
- 3 parsnips peels & chopped
- 3 red potatoes chopped
- 1 apple chopped
- 1 leek chopped to root
- 1 shallot chopped
- 1 bundle herbs thyme, rosemary, bay leaf
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ cup sherry or white wine
- 4 cups garlic broth or chicken or vegetable
- 4 tablespoons parmesan flakes
- ½ pint heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons chives for topping, optional
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spread the whole hazelnuts onto a baking sheet in a single layer. Roast the hazelnuts for 20 minutes. Test crack open a nut and remove the meat from the shell. If the skin rubs off easily and the nut is a light, brown toasted color the hazelnuts are ready to be removed from the oven. (If the hazelnut inside is still pale, continue roasting in five minute intervals until the nuts crack open easily, the skin can be easily rubbed away and the hazelnut is a toasted, brown color.)
- Cool then crack open the nuts. Place the whole nut between two towels and lightly but evenly tap the nut with a meat mallet. Or use a nut cracker to open each nut. Rub away the skin from the hazelnut inside. If the skins are being stubborn, troubleshoot with the recommended tips in the post above.
- Use a food processor to chop the hazelnuts in to a chunky but fine consistency. Set aside.
MAKING THE SOUP
- In a cast iron Dutch oven of medium high heat, fry the bacon until crispy about 8-10 minutes. Remove the crispy bacon from the pan but leave the grease.
- Add the chopped parsnips to the pan along with the potatoes and apple and saute until the apple is tender and the potato and parsnip are just beginning to brown – another 8-10 minutes. Then stir in the chopped leek, shallot and half of the hazelnuts.
- Deglaze the bottom of the pan with the sherry then toss in the butter. Season with nutmeg. Continue to saute until the leek has softened, another 5 minutes or so.
- Pour in the broth and bring to a rolling simmer. Stir in half of the bacon pieces and add the herb bundle. Simmer for 8-10 minutes, until the potatoes and parsnips are fork tender. Remove and discard the herb bundle.
- Use an immersion blender to slowly begin blending the soup. Alternatively, use a stand mixer and blend in batches (DO NOT OVER FILL OR THE BLENDER MAY EXPLODE).
- When the soup is mostly blended, it will be thick and chunky. Pour in a cup (or more broth) of water to help blend the soup.
- Next add the parmesan and heavy cream. Stir to combine then use the immersion blender to continue to blend until the soup reaches the consistency of chowder. Heat until the cream has cooked through – another 5-10 minutes.
- Serve rightaway topped with bacon bits, chopped hazelnuts and chives. Enjoy!