In this creamy, sweet soup the emphatic flavour of walnuts is tempered beautifully with a dash of fire. It is excellent for a light lunch or supper, accompanied by fresh crusty bread.
Peel the onion, cut it in half and slice as thinly as possible. Put the olive oil and butter into a large, heavy-based saucepan and melt over a medium heat. Add the sliced onion and cook, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes, until the onion is soft and slightly brown. Remove from the heat.
Cut the chillies open lengthways under running water, discard the seeds and stem and slice the halves across as thinly as you can. Put the walnut pieces into a food processor and whizz briefly to grind finely — don’t leave the machine on too long or the nuts will become sticky and oily.
Stir the caster sugar, ground mace, sliced chillies and ground walnuts into the onion and then stir in the flour. Gradually stir in the stock and milk. Put the saucepan back on the heat and bring to the boil, stirring frequently. Allow to bubble for 2-3 minutes, stirring all the time, then cover the pan, lower the heat and simmer very gently for 20 minutes.
While the soup is cooking, trim the spring onions and slice across at
© 1997 Josceline Dimbleby. All rights reserved.