chestnut soup.

December 20, 2011

I really want to share this recipe with you all, but I feel like no one is reading blogs this week!  Maybe you are though, and maybe there's still time to put this on your special menu.  I really think you should.

I have always felt a bit indifferent toward chestnuts.  I mean I love the idea of them (who doesn't love the idea of chestnuts roasting on an open fire?!), but they often taste like overcooked baked potatoes to me -- too starchy and not enough flavor going on.  B and his family, however, being the good Portugueses that they are, live for them this time of year.  (His uncle is even a chestnut farmer in Central California....when he sends packages, he uses chestnuts instead of the styrofoam peanuts howcoolisthat?)

OK, since I'm always trying to be the good wife (and since B and the kids are now official Portuguese citizens, I'm feeling the pressure), I have tried a few recipes trying to incorporate chestnuts into our seasonal celebrations.  This soup, by far, is the best.  It has the most intoxicating flavor and is rich without having much added fat.  It is really simple, clean, lovely all the way around!  Yay!  Maybe now I can be an honorary Portuguese!  Yay?


Chestnut Soup

4 T. butter
1 large onion, chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
24 oz. vacuum packed cooked chestnuts (Trader Joe's sells these right now in 6 oz. packages)
About 8 c. rich chicken stock

creme fraîche and chives for garnish

Melt butter in a large pot.  Saute onion, carrot and celery over medium heat until soft (8 minutes or so).  (You don't want color on the vegetables.)  Add chestnuts and then enough stock to just cover the vegetables and chestnuts.  Simmer for about a half hour to allow flavors to meld.  Use an immersion blender to puree until smooth.  Season with salt and pepper.  Spoon a little creme fraîche on each bowl of soup and garnish with chives.  Saude!!

13 comments:

  1. Jora - I'm reading blogs today because I don't want to work! AND we have recently decided to try a vegetarian diet for health reasons (watch Forks over Knives - a documentary on this if you are interested...but don't watch it if you don't want to give up meat!) SO, I'm in the market for some new recipes. This looks great - just have to swap out the chicken stock. Thanks so much and Merry Christmas!

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  2. Jora - I'm reading blogs today because I don't want to work! AND we have recently decided to try a vegetarian diet for health reasons (watch Forks over Knives - a documentary on this if you are interested...but don't watch it if you don't want to give up meat!) SO, I'm in the market for some new recipes. This looks great - just have to swap out the chicken stock. Thanks so much and Merry Christmas!

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  3. I have never heard of such a thing as this soup. Yum. And creme fraiche (I can't make that litte symbol)? Oui! Or whatever is YES in Portuguese.

    jbhat

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  4. yummmm. been trying to decide to make for the Gent and i for Christmas dinner, this goes on the list!

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  5. Thank you for sharing this. I can't get enough soups.

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  6. As a non-Portuguese partaker of this soup I can say it is very yummy. Thanks for posting this. I think it's going on my holiday week menu.

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  7. Yes, finally mid-week- I am taking a moment to read... and I'm bookmarkin' this- will make this for sure in the next couple of days (to take advantage of tj's having the vacuum sealed chestnuts)! thank you!

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  8. Reading and love soup recipes. Can't wait to try it.

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  9. Between this and all the caldo verde you make, you are definitely honorary Portuguese. If not, I will dub you so next time I see you. I think I have the power to do that, right?!? :)

    Chestnuts are one of my faves, of course. We have a special day in November in Portugal where all we do is eat chestnuts and drink red wine. I've forgotten the reason, but it's fun!

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  10. I've always wanted to try to make chestnut soup but was a little intimidated. Thanks for the recipe (and the TJ's tip)! Happy Holidays!

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  11. I've never cooked with chestnuts, but keep walking by them in the market-- intrigued. Maybe I'll just try them now! thanks.

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  12. Absolutely gorgeous looking...I'm sure it tastes even better!

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