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    How to Make Kanuchi – A Delicious Survival Soup

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    How to Make Kanuchi - A Delicious Survival Soup

    Kanuchi is a seasonal soup handed down by the Cherokees for generations. It is also known as ganvtsi. At first, it was considered a survival meal. Eventually, it became more of a dessert with the addition of sugar.

    Kanuchi requires a lot of hard work to make. First, in the fall, you need to gather and dry hickory nuts. Then, once the nuts are dried, they need to be shelled. Hickory nuts are time-consuming to shell, which is why you don’t often see them sold commercially.

    After the husks are removed, the remaining nut meat is pounded into an oil paste which is shaped into softball-sized balls. These balls could be stored over winter to provide a source of food when it was needed.

    When you’re ready to make your kanuchi, you boil the nutball in water with some salt. At first, the nut meat and the oil separate, but as the water content reduces, the oil is reabsorbed to create a thick and creamy soup base.

    Next, you would strain out any remaining pieces of hull. Don’t skip this important step!

    Finally, the soup is served over hominy, roasted sweet potatoes, or in more modern times, rice. This simple – yet delicious- soup is both a survival food and a specialdessert if made with sugar.

    Although the original Kanuchi is a simple soup handed down from the Cherokees, we can still make it pretty close to the original version. It has lots of protein and vitamins and plenty of calories, too. I made my own Kanuchi and it is a mild but delicious soup.

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    SOUP IN A BOWL

    Here’s How I Made Kanuchi

    Hickory nuts aren’t commercially available where I live, and it isn’t hickory nut season. So I substituted pecans, which are similar in flavor and texture.

    RECIPE INGREDIENTS ON COUNTERTOP

    Ingredients:

    • 12 ounces pecans
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
    • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
    • 1 large sweet potato peeled, cut into 1/2-inch dice, and roasted

    Directions:

    1. First, I gathered up all my ingredients. There aren’t many for this soup!
    FOOD PROCESSORON COUNTERTOP

    2. Next, I put the pecans into the food processor and pulsed them until they formed a paste. I added one tablespoon of water to the food processor, but my balls weren’t as sticky or as formed as original Kanuchi, since I used a food processor instead of pounding the nuts by hand.

    GRAINS IN MIXING BOWL

    3. I split the nut paste into three balls. I put two balls into the freezer for later use and I set one ball aside for this recipe.

    MIXING BOWL AND PLASTIC BAGS

    4. Then I prepared my sweet potato. I preheated my oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. I peeled and chopped the sweet potato into 1-inch cubes. I coated the cubes in oil and seasoned them with salt.

    CHOPPED SWEET POTATOES

    5. Then I spread them out onto a cooking sheet and placed them in the oven for about 30 minutes, turning them once or twice to make sure they were evenly roasted.

    SWEET POTATOES ON ROASTING PAN

    6. Then I put one nut paste ball into a saucepan with 1 quart (1 liter) of water and a teaspoon of kosher salt. I brought the mixture to a boil and whisked it well to incorporate it.

    SOUP INGREDIENTS SIMMERING

    7. Next, I reduced the heat and let the soup simmer, uncovered, for around 30 minutes or until the moisture content has been reduced to about half. It needs stirred from time to time.

    BROTH IN POT

    8. After half an hour, I added the maple syrup. I increased the temperature to high heat, and let it boil until everything was well-incorporated. At this stage, you can add more salt if you like.

    SOUP IN POT

    9. I didn’t strain my soup since I used commercially-sold pecans instead of hickory nuts. But you can strain yours if you want it to be finer or if you used hickory nuts and there might be some shells left in the soup.

    10. I served my kanuchi over rice and topped with roasted sweet potatoes. It has a flavor mild flavor that is slightly nutty and slightly sweet. The soup is somewhat grainy, but you could strain it or process the nuts more finely if you desire.

    KANUCHI SOUP IN BOWL

    It’s a warm, hearty soup that’s especially great for those cold, damp fall and winter days. It’s filling and has a slightly nutty and mild flavor which is a perfect complement to the sweet potatoes.

    To make the soup more traditional, you could serve it over cooked hominy rather than rice and make it with hickory nuts. Add a little sugar to the soup and top it with some shredded coconut to give it more of a dessert flavor.

    Kanuchi in Bowl

    Kanuchi

    Kanuchi is a seasonal soup handed down by the Cherokees for generations.
    Servings 4 people

    Ingredients
      

    • 12 ozs. Pecans
    • 1 tsp. Kosher salt
    • 1 tbsp. Maple Syrup
    • 1 Large Sweet Potato cut into 1/2-inch dice and roasted

    Instructions
     

    • First, I gathered up all my ingredients. There aren’t many for this soup!
    • Next, I put the pecans into the food processor and pulsed them until they formed a paste. Iadled one tablespoon of water to the food processor, but my balls weren’t as sticky or as formed as original Kanuchi, since I used a food processor instead of pounding the nuts by hand.
    • I split the nutpaste into three balls. I put two balls into the freezer for later use and I set one ball aside for this recipe.
    • Then I prepared my sweet potato. I preheated my oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. I peeled and chopped the sweet potato into 1-inch cubes. I coated the cubes in oil and seasoned them with salt. Then I spread them out onto a cooking sheet and placed them in the oven for about 30 minutes, turning them once or twice to make sure they were evenly roasted.
    • Then I put one nut-paste ball into a saucepan with 1 quart (1 liter) of water and a teaspoon of kosher salt. I brought the mixture to a boil and whisked it well to incorporate it.
    • Next, I reduced the heat and let the soup simmer, uncovered, for around 30 minutes or until the moisture content has been reduced to about half. It needs to be stirred from time to time.
    • After half an hour, I added the maple syrup. I increased the temperature to high heat, and letit boil until everything was well-incorporated. At this stage, you can add moresalt if you like.
    • I didn’t strainmy soup since I used commercially-sold pecans instead of hickory nuts. But youcan strain yours if you want it to be finer or if you used hickory nuts andthere might be some shells left in the soup.
    • I served my kanuchi over rice and topped with roasted sweet potatoes. It has a flavor mild flavor that is slightly nutty and slightly sweet. The soup is somewhat grainy,but you could strain it or process the nuts more finely if you desire.
    Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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