Brussels Sprouts Soup with Nuts
Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Place the nuts in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes, until you can smell the roasted aroma. Set them aside to cool.
Meanwhile, coarsely chop all the vegetables, making sure to trim off the bottoms of the Brussels sprouts and pull off the toughest leaves. When the nuts are cool, rub them with a dry dishtowel to remove the skins. In a food processor, grind the nuts until they are nearly the consistency of a nut butter.
In a soup pot, heat the oil. Sauté the onion over medium heat until golden. Add the celery, potato, tomato, garlic, about 1 pound of the Brussels sprouts, and the wine. Pour in enough water to cover all the vegetables. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and add the ground nuts, the bay leaf, and the spice mix. Simmer for 35 to 40 minutes. Remove the bay leaf.
With a slotted spoon, remove the solid ingredients and allow them to cool slightly. Purée them in a blender or food processor (in batches, if necessary), and return them to the soup pot. Thin the soup with a bit of water if desired. Turn the heat to low and cover the pot.
In a saucepan or steamer, steam the rest of the Brussels sprouts in water for about 10 minutes, making sure they are still bright green. Add them to the soup pot, along with the lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Chop the reserved nuts and the parsley. Garnish each serving with a sprinkling of nuts and parsley.
It is not necessary to toast the nuts for this recipe, but is easy to do and definitely enhances the flavor.