Warming winter chestnut soup

Photo by Karen Bradbury
Photo by Karen Bradbury

Warming winter chestnut soup

by Karen Bradbury
Stripes Europe

Before moving to Europe, I honestly cannot recall ever having eaten chestnuts, or for that matter, any dishes made with them. On a few occasions, I’ve bought those little bags of hot roasted chestnuts from street vendors, but their taste never quite equaled that of their enticing aroma. But an absolutely delicious chestnut stuffing a former workmate used to make for our shared Thanksgiving dinner hinted at the chestnut’s potential as part of a cooked meal. The peeled and ready-to-use chestnuts sold in vacuum packs at German supermarkets make light work of using them in various recipes, so when my friend raved about the chestnut soup served by her neighbor on a recent winter’s day, I knew I had to try to whip of a batch of this slightly sweet and oh-so-creamy soup for myself.

Warming winter chestnut soup

Start to Finish: 45 minutes (10 minutes of prep, 35 minutes of cooking time)

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

3 ½ tablespoons butter

1 large onion, finely chopped

1 200 gram (about 7 oz.) package of vacuum-packed, cooked and peeled chestnuts, roughly chopped. (The label in German reads “ganze Maronen, geschält & vorgekocht, essfertig”)

1 ½ cups of vegetable stock

1 tablespoon flour

¾ cup cream

¼ cup milk

Seasonings such as salt, pepper, cinnamon and nutmeg, all to taste

In a saucepan, melt the butter and sweat the onions until they become translucent.

Add the chopped chestnuts and vegetable stock.

Gently sprinkle the flour atop the liquid and stir in.

Allow to cook over very low heat for 30 minutes.

Add the cream and milk and allow to simmer for another 5 minutes.

Puree with either a standard or hand blender and season to taste. 

If desired, serve garnished with fresh parsley, toasted walnuts or a drizzle of walnut oil.

This recipe is adapted slightly from a recipe for Winter Chestnut Soup found on the Chefkoch website.

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