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Cream of Walnut Soup

October 20, 2010

Walnuts are favorite here in this house.  They go in cakes, muffins, brownies, stuffings and sauces.  And you will see them on top of salads, puddings and ice creams.  They sit on a table with nutcrackers inviting you for a snack.   Serve some walnuts with some beautiful cheeses, fruits and a drizzle of honey on the side when you have some friends over for a glass of wine.   And when walnuts go in soups, sweet or savory you will pay attention.  This is a beautiful, flavorful, sweet soup for the fall and winter months when you find some luscious pears.  This walnut cream made alone goes well as a sauce for various cakes as well.

Cream of Walnut Soup


Walnut Cream

  • 1 1/4 cups (5 ounces) walnuts, toasted, excess skin rubbed off, and chopped
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 vanilla bean, split
  • 1 large pear
  • 1 1/2 cups Poaching Liquid (see below)
  • Walnut oil

Poaching Liquid

  • One 750 ml bottle crisp, dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Juice of 1 lemon

Preparation of Poaching Liquid

  1. Bring the wine to a boil in a saucepan
  2. Skim off the foam that rises to the top
  3. Add the water and sugar and return liquid to a boil, stirring until sugar has dissolved
  4. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in lemon juice
  5. (Stored in a covered container in the refrigerator will last several weeks)
  6. (Yield: 6 Cups)


Preparation of Walnut Cream

  1. Place the walnuts, cream and milk in a saucepan
  2. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the pan add the pod
  3. Bring to a simmer; reduce heat to keep the liquid just below a simmer and heat about 30-45 minutes
  4. Strain the liquid with a fine mesh into another pan and discard the walnuts and vanilla pod (yield about 1 1/2 C. walnut cream); strain the walnut cream 2-3 times and set aside
  5. Cut the pear into 8 wedges and put in a pan with the poaching liquid; cover with a parchment lid and bring to a simmer
  6. Cook about 15 minutes until the pear wedges are completely softened
  7. Transfer the liquid and pears to a blender (or use an immersion blender in same (deep) pan and puree the pears
  8. Reheat the walnut cream and pour the warm walnut cream into the pear mixture (the cream mixture must not be hot when added to the puree; soup may break
  9. Strain the soup through a fine-mesh strainer into a saucepan and reheat gently over low heat
  10. Serve warm in demitasse cups or very small dessert bowls; garnish with a few drops of walnut oil


(Serves: 8 Small Servings, Yield: 2 Cups )

From The French Laundry Cookbook by Thomas Keller

This is the week to celebrate “Pears” and this dessert soup is one of my contributions.  There are a lot more ideas and recipes at  for “Fall Fest 2010”.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. October 24, 2010 19:42

    Wow, now this looks amazing! You put vanilla ice cream in the soup, too?

    • October 24, 2010 19:55

      It is such a good dessert. I am an ice cream freak, vanilla #1, but in this soup was spectacular. Have pics, will add to the recipe and let you know. Love what you are doing.

  2. October 24, 2010 10:24

    It is so delicious, we added some vanilla ice cream too.


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