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.

Recipe

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

Ingredients

  • 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

Directions

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

Notes

  • 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.

Mohawk Milk Cake

Mohawk Milk Cake

April 17: Feast Day of Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha

Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha, “Lily of the Mohawks,” who is in the process of canonization, has two feast days and two tribal affiliations. So we doubly honor her with blog recipe posts as well. Firstly, since Highlander is a Canadian, we are featuring Mohawk milk cake for her Mohawk heritage on April 17, her Canadian feast day. And secondly, since Islander is an American, we will feature paganens (Algonquin wild nut soup) for her Algonquin ancestry on July 14, her American feast day. It is twice as nice to celebrate biculturalism!

Recipe

(Adapted from All Recipes)

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar (granulated white)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions

Sift the flour and baking powder together in a medium bowl. Heat the milk and butter in a pan over a stove top, stirring the mixture until the butter is melted. Set aside to cool slightly. Whisk the eggs with sugar and vanilla in a large bowl. Add both the flour and milk mixtures and combine thoroughly into a smooth batter.

Mohawk Milk Cake

Pour into a well-greased Bundt, loaf or baking pan. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 30-40 minutes, testing for doneness. Remove from the oven and cool completely. Slice and serve.

Mohawk Milk Cake

Notes

  • Thanks to RB, who is part-Cherokee from Oklahoma, for the Native American shawl used as a prop for the main photo. He presented it to Islander as an appreciation gift for being his first communion sponsor many years ago.
  • The other props, the Native American wedding basket and dual-spouted jug, are treasured souvenirs from Arizona where Islander attended a conference for work.
  • The Mohawk milk cake is like a pound cake/corn bread blend.