A wonderful Holiday Dish, yes, but earthy roasted chestnuts make a wonderful and hearty soup all fall and winter.
Prep. Time: 2 Hours if including ‘chill’ time for blending. Best made 1 day ahead for flavors to cultivate together.
Ingredients to serve 6
- 4 slices bacon, roughly chopped
- 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1 large shallot, roughly chopped
- 1 medium carrot, roughly chopped
- 1 small leek, roughly chopped
- 1 stalk celery, roughly chopped
- 4 1⁄2 cups chicken stock
- 2 1⁄2 lb. fresh chestnuts, roasted and peeled, or two 15-oz. jars whole roasted chestnuts, drained
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 sprig thyme
- 1⁄2 cup heavy cream
- 1⁄2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Heat bacon in a 6-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat; cook, stirring occasionally, until fat is rendered and bacon is almost crisp, 3–4 minutes. Add butter, shallot, carrot, leek, and celery; cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are soft, 5–7 minutes. Add stock, chestnuts, bay leaf, and thyme; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium; cook, slightly covered, until chestnuts are very tender, about 25 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Discard bay leaf and thyme. Working in batches, purée soup in a blender until smooth. Return soup to saucepan and place over medium heat. Stir in cream, nutmeg, salt, and pepper; cook until soup is slightly thick, about 5 minutes more.
Note: A Vitamix can purée soups still warm to hot.
Possible accompaniments: Crusty European Mountain Bread