Culinary Travel Around The World: Belgian Chicory Soup

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We are slowly coming to the end of our culinary travel trip this month. Having recently moved to Belgium, I can, of course, not ignore the yummy dishes that are being served here, particularly if one of THE Belgian vegetables is in season: no, I am not referring to potatoes and fries, but chicory and chicory soup! Itโ€™s a creamy warming delight particularly now the temperatures have dropped.

Belgian chicory soup

  • Servings: 2-3
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Dairy-free, gluten-free, nut-free, vegan.

I have used parsnip as a base, although traditionally you would use potato. If you decide to exchange the parsnip with a potato, you may need some more water as it binds more of the vegetable stock.

If I have this soup at home, I have taken to using raw chicory leaves to โ€˜spoonโ€™ up the soup, mainly because it is more fun to eat this way, although secondarily I, of course, have to admit that in the raw version nutrients will be better maintained. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Enjoy!

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Ingredients

– 1-2 tbsp coconut oil
– 3 heads chicory, chopped into smaller bits, plus 1-2 extra ones for serving leaving the leaves intact
– 1 large parsnip, peeled and chopped into pieces
– 1 onion, finely chopped
– 2 tsp vegetable bouillon powder
– 50 g pumpkin seeds
– 50 g cashews, soaked for at least 2 hours in water and drained
– Parsley, chopped, to serve
– Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Heat the coconut oil over medium to high heat in a pot and add the parsnip, chopped chicory and onions. Fry stirring regularly for about 5-10 minutes, until the onions turn glassy.
  2. Add hot water to the pan until all the vegetables are mostly covered with the occasional piece still peaking up from the water surface. Add bouillon powder and stir in well. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 20-30 minutes. Leave to cool.
  3. In the meantime, dry toast the pumpkin seeds over medium heat in a pan until they start popping and turning golden. Remove from heat.
  4. Blend the vegetables and the soaked cashews with a hand held blender or in a standing mixer until nicely purรฉed. Gently warm up again and add salt or pepper to taste.
  5. Serve in individual bowls with chopped parsley and toasted pumpkin seeds on top and hand out extra raw chicory leaves for everyone to use as edible spoon!

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