Brazil Nut Soup

When I was six my father took my mother and me to Brazil. We stayed there for several months as he wanted to learn about snake venom. I remember that when I came home the nuns asked me what I had liked best and I said Fejoiada. It was, I think, the place where I first realised that different countries had different food. This is a strange soup and to me very reminiscent of the country.

Ingredients

  • 350g/12oz brazil nuts
  • 1.75litres/3 pints good chicken stock
  • 55g/2oz unsalted butter
  • 55g/2oz plain flour
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • ¼ tsp ground mace
  • 250ml/8fl oz double cream
  • 2 pomegranates

Method

Heat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6. Toast the nuts for 10 minutes turning occasionally. Cool and rub the skins off the nuts. Grind finely in a food processor. Heat stock in a large pan, add a ladle of stock to the food processor and pulse until smooth. In a saucepan melt the butter and stir in the flour. Add the stock a little at a time and season with salt, pepper, mace and cream. Simmer gently for 20 minutes. If the soup is too thick stir in more cream. Strain the juice of one pomegranate into the soup. Serve the soup in warm plates, and top with seeds from the remaining pomegranate.

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