This winter warming, velvety soup is packed with beautiful flavours. You can buy the chestnuts ready peeled and vacuum-packed in supermarkets or use fresh chestnuts and peel them yourself.
It can easily be made in advance and reheated when ready to eat.
- Chestnuts - 450g/1 lbs. shelled
- Carrot - 1 medium, chopped
- Celery - 2 ribs, peeled and chopped
- Garlic - 1 clove, finely chopped
- Echalion Shallot or White Onion - 1, finely chopped
- Fresh Thyme - 2 sprigs
- Bay Leaf - 1
- Chicken stock or Vegetable Stock - 1,25L/5 cups
- Salt & Pepper - to taste
Preheat the oven to 200C/400F. Slice a large x along the flat side of chestnuts and boil for 10 minutes. Then roast the chestnuts for 15 minutes on a shallow baking tray. Shake the baking tray a few times during roasting. When done, peel as soon as they are cold enough to handle.
Heat the oil in a stockpot over medium heat. Add the finely chopped Echalion shallot or onion, celery, carrot, garlic, thyme and bay leaf. Cook, stir occasionally for about 10 minutes or until the onions are soft, not brown.
Add the chestnuts, chicken or vegetable stock, cover and bring to a boil. Simmer for approx. 40 minutes or until the chestnuts are soft.
Turn off the heat and let the soup cool down for a few minutes. Take out the stems of the thyme and bay leave and purée the ingredients with a hand blender in the stockpot or puree in batches in your blender.
Return the soup to a clean pan and season to taste with some freshly ground sea salt and pepper.
The soup can be stored in the refrigerator for 3 days or frozen for up to 1 month.