Monday, December 26, 2011

Chestnut Soup


When my mom asked me to bring a soup and a vegetable for her international Christmas eve dinner, I told her I'd make a chestnut soup. What country is that from? Ummm...Italy. Really? Well, that's where I first saw what a chestnut looks like fresh off the tree - seemingly inpenetrable balls of threatening brown spikes which then reveals the shiny, still ridiculously difficult to crack inner shell. It's where I became enamoured with the Italian sweet Marron Glace (candied chestnuts). The bags of chestnut flour I buy, when I can find them, are imported from Italy. Yes, really.

In a large soup pot I caramelized diced onions, shallots, and celery with fresh rosemary. When they started to caramelize, I added roasted and peeled chestnuts - thank goodness for Trader Joe's vacuum packed ones! - and cooked them for about ten minutes, stirring constantly. Then I topped all of that with organic chicken broth and added sliced brown crimini mushrooms and fresh bay leaves, bringing it to a boil and simmering until the mushrooms were cooked. I seasoned the soup lightly with sea salt and fresh pepper, finishing off the soup with some heavy cream. Remove bay leaves when serving.

Photobucket

4 comments:

  1. Camilla, as someone who doens't have a Trader Joe's anywhere near her but was able to find fresh chestnuts: how do you prep them? The packaging says carve an X, roast for 20 minutes and peel. Then what? I did that but they tasted pretty bad. It's been awhile since I had them, but I know they are delicious. What am I doing wrong? Thank you!

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  2. @The Dutch Girl, I cut the x in the skin then soak them in warm water for about 20 minutes before roasting. Then roast for about 15-20 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Peel while hot...and THEN blanch them for 2 minutes. Good luck.

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  3. That sounds totally delicious, I love chestnuts :D Visiting from Rook #17

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  4. That photo, Camilla....I want to dive right in!!!

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