The Soup Simmering Trick That Gives Nuts A Game-Changing Texture

Nuts of all varieties are notoriously crunchy and are often toasted or roasted in cooking to further accentuate their inherent texture. On the other end of the nut transformation spectrum is to completely pulverize them in order to make a spreadable nut butter. However, there is a middle path that may just lead to nutty enlightenment: If you grab a handful of your favorite nuts and toss them into a simmering stew or soup, they'll take on a velvet-like texture that is tender but with a nice chew.

This technique is nothing new, and it's commonly deployed in various cuisines of Asia, Africa, and Eastern Europe. Just a few examples include tong sui, a balancing sweet soup that often includes nuts and seeds, and the Senegalese peanut stew mafé. Yet no special recipe is required to test out this velvet nut texture. Nuts can be easily added into your favorite standby soup — here's how.

Toss a handful of nuts into your favorite soup

The next time you're simmering your favorite stew or soup on the stovetop and you spot a jar of almonds (or any other nuts) sitting neglected in your pantry or refrigerator, just pour out about a handful and add them to the pot. No chopping is needed, and there is no risk of overcooking the nuts, though peanuts and cashews will soften in 20 minutes. After 40 minutes, the simmering nuts will reach an extremely tender state.

For larger nuts like walnuts or pecans, you may want to break them up into pieces before adding them to your stew if you're short on cooking time, or you can use a slow cooker or Instant Pot to make sure your nut of choice reaches your desired level for a soft, chewy bite. Don't be afraid to experiment with traditional recipes either, as walnuts may prove to be an unexpected yet delightful contrast to something as standard as chicken soup.