December 3, 2008

Chestnut & Potato Soup

I roasted some chestnuts last weekend in an attempt to get into the holiday know, the whole "chestnuts roasting on an open fire" thing.

Roasting chestnuts. *sigh* It seems like such a swoony, romantic thing to do. Yeah, well, in reality...not so much.

I roasted the chestnuts in the oven instead of over an open fire. To do so, you cut an X into the rounded side of the nut. Then, roast them (cut side up) at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes. Peel the chestnuts when they are cool enough to handle.

Chestnut, pre-roasting

Roast chestnut, peeled.

The warm chestnuts are tender and sweet, but they were not something I enjoyed just eating by themselves. So, I asked my tweeps (my Twitter followers) for suggestions of what to do with the rest of the chestnuts. Emphatically, several people replied and told me to try chestnut soup.

I browsed recipes online and settled on two choices: Mark Bittman's Roasted Chestnut Soup and Food Blogga's Creamy Cauliflower Chestnut Soup. In the end, I decided to go with Susan's (aka Food Blogga) recipe because it was heartier (ie chunkier...I'm not much of a smooth soup kind of gal) than Bittman's.

Excited, and with printed recipe in hand, I got home from school yesterday to discover that I didn't have any cauliflower like I thought I did. So, I improvised and made...

Chestnut & Potato Soup

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 scallions, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 large red-skinned potato, peeled & diced
1/2 cup roasted & peeled chestnuts, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced
3 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup half & half (or heavy cream)
sprinkling of fresh nutmeg
salt & pepper, to taste
  • Melt the butter in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat. Saute the celery & scallions until just soft. Season with a bit of salt & pepper.
  • Add the bay leaf, potato, chestnuts, rosemary, & stock and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to low & simmer 10-15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
  • Puree half the soup in a blender & return it to the pan or break up some of the chunks with an immersion blender. I just used the back of the spoon to mash some of the potatoes. I wanted the soup to be a bit chunky. If you want a creamy soup, puree all of it.
  • Add the cream, a light sprinkling of freshly ground nutmeg (like 1/8 teaspoon), and check for seasoning. Add salt & pepper if needed.


Stef said...

Sounds great! I've never had chestnuts in a soup before.

MacDuff said...

Oh my god, I wish I would have checked your blog over the weekend. I made chestnut butternut squash soup, but I didn't slice the little x in them. They exploded. Everywhere. Seriously, the neighbors are now giving me that whole look like "Is everything alright between you and Jon?"

KELLY said...

Oh, I've heard they explode! Yikes! Though, it's a little funny. ;-)