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?
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!!