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chestnut soup

This soup takes a little more effort than my usual recipes but I promise it is well worth it. Chestnuts are a rare treat and for me they belong to Christmas like Santa Claus. I never prepared them though. I usually enjoy them roasted at Christmas markets. This year I decided that the time has come to give chestnut soup a try.

You will see that the recipe is very simple: a carrot, some leek, onion and celery and you almost have the soup ready.

But here is the tricky part: The chestnuts!

It took me about 1 hour to peel 500 grams of chestnuts and it was a lot more difficult than I thought it would be. First of all, I did not know how they were supposed to look “naked”.  After peeling a few today, I can tell you that they have 2 skins. The hard brown one you would expect and a softer lighter brown, I did not expect. It is essential to get both of them off.

But the good news is: It doesn’t have to be that hard! I disregarded every advice to cut the chestnuts before boiling them, as I thought the extra effort of cutting a cross into the skin was not worth it. … Well I can tell you know: It really is! The few chestnuts I had prepared like that were a lot easier to peel than the rest. You should cut a cross at the top (the light brown part) before boiling them and peel them straight away when they are still hot. And if that is still too much effort for you (and I could not blame you) you can buy them cooked and peeled as well.

Here is a helpful link on “How to peel chestnuts“.

If you never had chestnut soup before, be warned: it tastes slightly sweet. But after the 3rd spoonful you will love it. I do anyways!

Level: Medium | Time: 60 minutes (depending on the chestnut peeling skills)| serves 4-6


Ingredients

Knob of butter

1 carrot, peeled and sliced

1 leek (white part only), washed and sliced

1 small onion, sliced

1-2 celery stalk, peeled and sliced

500 grams of chestnuts (cooked, peeled and cut into pieces)

100 ml of sour cream

1 litre of vegetable stock

Salt and pepper

Nutmeg

Parsley for decoration

Preparation

  1. Heat the butter in a big pot on medium heat.
  2. Add the carrot, onion, leek and celery and cook for about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the cooked and peeled chestnuts and the stick and cook on a low heat, covered for 20 minutes.
  4. Take the pot off the heat and blend the soup till smooth and silky.
  5. It the soup is too thick add a little bit of stock.
  6. Now, add the sour cream and the nutmeg (1-2 TS) and stir well.
  7. To serve, ladle a bit of soup into a warm bowl, stir in some extra sour cream and sprinkle with parsley.

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