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OR Mushroom Stories, Edible Portland

Nasturtium Soup with Braised Pistachios

Nasturtium leaves add depth and gorgeous color to this soup, which is full of subtle flavors. Make this recipe over two days, blending the nasturtium leaves into the rest of the chilled soup base just before serving to retain their vibrant color. Learn more about the versatility of nasturtiums in Ellen Jackson’s article in the summer issue of Edible Portland here.


3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium or 3 small onions, thinly sliced
2 small bunches scallions, thinly sliced, including the greens
4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
12 black peppercorns
3/4 cup dry white wine or vermouth
10 cups vegetable stock
4 cups fresh nasturtium leaves, loosely packed
1/4 cup heavy cream
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Braised pistachios (see recipe below)
Nasturtium flowers to garnish (optional)


1. Warm the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until they become translucent, about 7 minutes. Add the scallions, thyme, bay leaves and peppercorns, and stir to combine. Cook 2 to 3 more minutes.

2. Increase the heat to medium high and add the white wine, using it to deglaze the pan, loosening any bits that have browned and stuck to the bottom with a wooden spoon.  Continue to cook until the white wine reduces by about one half. Add the vegetable stock and reduce the volume by half again. You should have approximately 6 cups.

3. Remove the soup from the heat and chill until completely cold. Once the base is cold, add the nasturtium leaves in batches, using a blender or food processor to purée the leaves into the base. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve, add the cream, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

4. To serve, bring the soup to a gentle simmer over low heat. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper, and serve immediately, garnished with braised pistachios and nasturtium flowers, if you’d like.

Makes 6 servings


Braised Pistachios

Braising pistachios in vegetable stock flavored with generous amounts of onion, garlic, herbs and cardamom adds unusually delicious flavor and pleasing texture—not unlike that of a fresh bean—to the silky smooth soup.

3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 small onion, sliced
1 clove garlic, sliced
4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 cup white wine
2 cups shelled pistachios
1 cup vegetable stock
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Warm the olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat and add the onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté another 30 seconds. Add the bay leaves, thyme and cardamom, and sauté 1 minute longer.

2. Deglaze the pan with the white wine and cook until nearly all of the liquid is gone and the onions are dry. Add the pistachios and cook, stirring, for a few minutes, to lightly toast and incorporate with the onions. Cover with the vegetable stock and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat to low and continue to simmer slowly until the stock is nearly gone and the pistachios appear dry. Stir the mixture occasionally to prevent the onions and pistachios from sticking, and to keep them moistened with stock. Season to taste with salt and pepper. The nuts can be made up to three days in advance of serving them and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Makes 2 cups

Recipes by Justin Aprahamian, chef-owner of Sanford Restaurant in Milwaukee, WI, from The Chefs Collaborative Cookbook: Local, Sustainable, Delicious Recipes from America’s Great Chefs by Ellen Jackson. Published by The Taunton Press, 2013

Photo by Josh McCullough

3 Responses to “Nasturtium Soup with Braised Pistachios”

  1. Edible Portland» Edible Seasonals: Nasturtiums
    May 31st, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    […] “Use everything” is the mantra of any well-run professional kitchen, where food cost is tied closely to success. So I wasn’t surprised when many of the chefs contributing to the book I spent the last year writing, The Chefs Collaborative Cookbook, sent me recipes for Rainbow Chard Stem Gratin (bubbly, cheesy and breadcrumb topped), Broccoli Hushpuppies (made with the stems and cheddar cheese, they beg to be dipped in apple butter or garlicky ranch dressing) and Pappa al Pomodoro (the Tuscan porridge-like soup made from overripe tomatoes and yesterday’s bread). Still, I wasn’t expecting Nasturtium Soup with Braised Pistachios (find recipe here). […]

  2. Eating Flowers | City Girl Farming Blog
    July 17th, 2013 at 7:02 am

    […] about some Nasturtium Soup with Braised Pistachios from Edible […]

  3. ORANGE is the new Green | Hastings Farmer's Market
    June 27th, 2014 at 9:39 am

    […] up on the multi-faceted nasturtium in this article from Edible Portland which includes this recipe for nasturtium soup with braised pistachios. Tierra Farm has been short on pistachios of late […]

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