Shell Shock

Everyone in my family is a fidgeter, a picker, or a combination of the two. We simply can’t sit quietly, motionlessly, and we certainly can’t keep our hands still. As if possessed, they move with minds of their own, searching and groping into empty space for something to latch on to, work through, touch and feel.

If not for knitting, I would have long ago torn my nail beds to utter ruin, all without realizing precisely what those devious hands were doing. I’ve noticed that my mom often tries to redirect that energy into more positive channels as well, typically working knots out of yarn or twisted lengths of jewelry, impossibly tangled by yours truly. My sister’s gift, however came as a complete surprise. It turns out, she’s a gifted and endlessly enthusiastic sheller.

Failing to locate shelled pistachios for a recipe in need, I resigned myself to a frustrating night of cracking open about a million half-smiling green nuts, their tiny smirks mocking me from the safety of their hard cocoons. Somehow detecting the need for help, my sister was there in an instant, popping them out left and right, until only a pile of clean, perfect pistachios remained. Stunned, I could only stare at the heaping bowl of nuts, dumbstruck. This girl hates nuts, had never willingly or knowingly eaten a nut of any variety, and yet relished this horribly monotonous duty to free them from their shells.

Of course, this discovery came years ago, when we all lived together under one roof. Now separated by hundreds of miles, I can’t help but think of this moment wistfully as a new heap of nuts sits before me, cocooned in their impenetrable cloaks.

In the times of quarantine, though, it’s not the worst way to pass the endless hours. Any project that ends with a delicious result is a worthwhile investment in time.

Most cream of [fill-in-the-blank] soups are good only as ingredients, possessing little redeeming culinary value alone, but this pale green pottage was designed specifically to fly solo. Lush toasted pistachios are blended to both flavor and enrich the silken brew, dazzling with simplicity and subtlety. Glorious spring greens enhance the color, of course, while adding a light, peppery bite. Fennel, typically a bit player, is essential for this unique concert of seasonal flavors, not to be overpowered by the standard array of aromatics.

If you don’t start with shelled pistachios, it will definitely take a minute to prepare, to which I say: All the more better. Consider it an act of productive meditation. Don’t rush the process, but embrace it instead.

Yield: Makes 4 Servings

Cream of Pistachio Soup

Cream of Pistachio Soup

Lush toasted pistachios are blended to both flavor and enrich the silken brew, dazzling with simplicity and subtlety. Glorious spring greens enhance the color, of course, while adding a light, peppery bite. Fennel, typically a bit player, is essential for this unique concert of seasonal flavors, not to be overpowered by the standard array of aromatics.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes

Ingredients

Cream of Pistachio Soup:

  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 Medium Yellow Onion, Diced
  • 1/2 Bulb Fennel, Diced
  • 4 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 Cup Toasted, Unsalted Shelled Pistachios
  • 1 (15-Ounce) Can White Beans (1 1/2 Cups Cooked), Drained
  • 4 Cups Low Sodium Vegetable Stock
  • 1 Tablespoon Rice Vinegar
  • 2 Cups Fresh Spinach and/or Arugula, Lightly Packed
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Black Pepper

Garnishes (Optional):

  • Fennel Fronds
  • Thinly Sliced Chives
  • Chopped Pistachios

Instructions

    1. In a medium saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, fennel, and garlic,. Sautee, stirring occasionally, until golden; about 6 - 8 minutes.
    2. Add the pistachios, white beans, vegetable stock, and vinegar. Bring to a boil and add the spinach and/or arugula. Stir to incorporate and immediately turn off the heat.
    3. Carefully transfer to a blender and purée. Allow at least 3 minutes of solid blending on high, until the mixture is perfectly silky smooth.
    4. Return to saucepan and season with salt and pepper. Stir occasionally and cook until slightly thickened; about 1 minute.
    5. Ladle into bowls and top with fennel fronds, chives, and chopped pistachios, if desired.

Recommended Products

Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase after clicking through the link. I have experience with all of these companies and I recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to buy something through my links.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 328Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 459mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 8gSugar: 7gProtein: 13g

All nutritional information presented within this site are intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information on BitterSweetBlog.com should only be used as a general guideline. This information is provided as a courtesy and there is no guarantee that the information will be completely accurate. Even though I try to provide accurate nutritional information to the best of my ability, these figures should still be considered estimates.

5 thoughts on “Shell Shock

  1. I try to eat pistachios often as my eye doctor told me they are the only nut to contain any significant amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin, which are excellent for your eyes. So a bowl of your soup would not only be delicious but will help with my eyesight…that is a win, win.

Leave a Reply