Cobnut soup with crab toasts

Available through Autumn, cobnuts make a creamy soup which partners perfectly with creamy crab toasts in this recipe from Tristan Welch
By Tristan Welch
Cobnut soup with crab toasts
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes plus 20 mins infusing
  • Effort: easy


For the soup

  • 400 g fresh cobnuts, shelled
  • 150 ml water
  • 1 litres milk
  • 120 ml hazelnut oil, plus extra for drizzling

For the crab toasts

  • 4 slices white bread
  • 1 medium crab, white and brown meat only
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp ricotta cheese
  • 1 tbsp snipped chives
  • few drops tabasco

Tips and Suggestions

Grown in Britain for centuries, cobnuts are young cultivated hazelnuts, sometimes also known as filberts. Young, sweet, green cobnuts appear in early September and signal the arrival of autumn. Buy them early in season and youll find theyre juicier, but get them towards the end of the season and theyll be fuller in flavour.


1. For the soup: Place the cobnuts in a sandwich bag or clean tea towel and bash them up with a rolling pin or in a pestle and mortar until crushed into small pieces. Tip them into a heavy-based saucepan and toast the nuts evenly on a medium heat until browned and fragrant. Carefully stir in the water (it may boil ferociously for a second), add the milk and simmer gently for 5 minutes, careful not to let the mixture boil. Take the pan off the heat, cover and leave to infuse for 15-20 minutes.

2. For the toasts: While the soup is infusing, make the crab toasts. Toast the bread under a hot grill, then cut into rectangles. Place the brown meat in a small bowl, beat in the egg and the ricotta, then fold in the white meat, chives, and Tabasco then season to taste. Spread the crab on the fingers of toast, place on a baking sheet and return to the grill for about 4-5 minutes until the crab mixture is golden.

3. Warm the soup through, pour into a jug blender along with the hazelnut oil and blend until smooth. Pour the soup through a sieve to get rid of any stray lumps and serve in bowls with a swirl of oil and the crab toasts on the side.

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