Paganens (Algonquin Wild Nut Soup)

Algonquin Nut Soup

July 14: Feast Day of Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha

For a simple yet savory soup, prepare paganens (Algonquin wild nut/hazelnut soup) for the American Feast Day of Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha. The candidate for canonization is the daughter of an Algonquin Christian woman, Kahente (Kahontáke or Wahwahsekona), so we chose paganens for this blog recipe post.  The “Lily of the Mohawk” is also the daughter of a Mohawk chief, Kenneronkwa, so we made Mohawk milk cake for her Canadian Feast Day on April 17. Serve this soup and the cake together for a double dose of down-to-earth deliciousness.


(Modified from The Gutsy Gourmet and In Mama’s Kitchen)


  • 1 cup raw hazelnuts (filberts)
  • 3 large shallots, peeled and sliced
  • 1 tablespoon corn or vegetable oil
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 1½  tablespoons parsley, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • pinch of black pepper


Toast the hazelnuts (filberts) in the oven by spreading them on a cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 15 minutes. Cool slightly. Rub off the skins with a towel. Coarsely chop the nuts into pieces.

Algonquin Nut Soup

In a large pot, sauté the shallots in oil until tender. Pour in the vegetable stock and mix the shallots in the liquid. Add the nuts, parsley, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, stir, then simmer the soup on low heat for 1½ hours to soften the nuts and blend the flavors. Some similar soup recipes end the cooking process at this point and serve it as a hearty dish.

Algonquin Nut Soup

Other similar soup recipes have additional steps to liquefy the soup before serving. Transfer the contents of the pot in small batches to a food processor or blender and puree until smooth. Pour the soup in a sieve over the pot to remove the grit from the puree. Simmer on low heat to keep it warm. Ladle the soup in bowls. Garnish with parsley and serve.

Algonquin Nut Soup


  • The fabric for the photo background is from a Kiowa-Apache skirt purchased from a pow-wow in Oklahoma. The soup bowl is adorned with a beaded Pueblo necklace purchased at a museum gift shop in Arizona.