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R's Autumn Chestnut Soup


R had his Thanksgiving feast last week at school...one week early, but it was nice to spread out the holiday mayhem. The request was for a favorite autumn dish or a traditional Thanksgiving dish. Since we don't do anything traditionally - read this! - he opted for the autumnal dish and asked for chestnuts. Okay.

But since it was also funddrive week, I cheated and bought pre-roasted, pre-peel chestnuts. So, while he was hard at work on a school project I whipped up this soup and some Chestnut Ice Cream in 45 minutes. I was feeling very Top Chef-like.

This recipe made a pot-full for an entire class!

Ingredients

  • 1 onion, peeled and diced
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 3 stalks of celery, diced
  • 2 T butter
  • splash of olive oil
  • 5 to 6 C roasted and peel chestnuts
  • 2 C pumpkin puree (click for how to make your own pumpkin puree)
  • 8 C organic vegetable broth
  • 1 to 2 C water (only if you need more soup...which we did)
  • 2 T creamy peanut butter (R wanted to add this after he tasted the soup)
  • 1 C organic heavy cream
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 C fresh herbs, chopped (use whatever you have on hand...I used a mixture of chives, parsley, and thyme)

Procedure
In a large souppot, melt the butter in a splash of olive oil and saute the onions, carrots, and celery until softened and translucent but not browned. Pour in the stock and add the chestnuts and pumpkin puree. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cook for approximately 10 minutes. Let cool slightly and puree in a blender. Return the soup to the pot. Pour in the cream and stir in the peanut butter. Cook over low heat for 10-15 minutes but do not let it boil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Fold in the herbs. Serve hot.

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