Chestnut Soup

Christmas has become such a special time for me. We travel to Tucson, AZ every year to visit my husband’s family. Every year I eagerly anticipate the moment we reach the desert landscape, surrounded by cactus and mountains, warmer weather and amazing food. I love experiencing the holidays through the eyes of his nephews. It’s such a fun trip. I’ll be bringing my camera this year and documenting our vacation. We leave Thursday! On to the recipe…

I grew up hearing songs about chestnuts, but had no idea what they tasted like. They’re delicious! As far as I’m concerned, this is the perfect winter soup. It’s silky, rich and inviting. Serve this chestnut soup at your holiday parties and people will rave.

If you’ve never roasted chestnuts before, removing the shell and skin can be a bit of a chore. They come off easiest when the chestnuts are still hot. I like to smash the hot nuts with the side of my knife like a garlic clove. If you have a really good blender such as a Vitamix you can get away with leaving some of the skin on. It will soften during the cooking process and blend right into your puree. If you’re using a more standard blender, you may want to strain the soup through a chinois or fine mesh strainer before adding the cream.


Creamy Chestnut Soup
 
Serves: 4-6 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 pound chestnuts
  • olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 large or 2 small carrots, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 sprigs of thyme, leaves removed
  • ¼ cup sherry, plus extra
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock, preferably homemade
  • 1 cup heavy cream
Instructions
  1. Using a sharp knife, cut an x into each chestnut, then roast them at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes.
  2. Peel the shell and skin away from the meat of the chestnut (this is easier to do when they're hot).
  3. In a dutch oven, sweat the onions, carrots and celery with a bit of salt and a bit of olive oil. Allow the veggies to soften.
  4. Add the chestnuts and thyme leaves.
  5. When the water is evaporated from the vegetables and a glaze begins to appear on the bottom of the pan, deglaze with ¼ cup sherry.
  6. Add the stock and some pepper. Bring everything to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and cover the pot.
  7. Allow the soup to simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.
  8. Carefully ladle the soup into a sturdy blender and puree until silky.
  9. Return the soup to the pot and stir in the cream on low heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Finish with a splash of sherry.
  10. Garnish with thyme before serving.

 

Don't miss future updates from Savory Simple! Subscribe to new recipes by email. You can also follow me via RSS, Facebook and Twitter.
  • http://perrylup.wordpress.com perrylup

    This looks yummy thanks for this. In December, a group of friends to a Christmas Cookie exchange – in January we are doing a Souper Soup Swap – and I will make this to share!!! Always wanting to try new soups!!

  • http://maddogtvdinners.wordpress.com Mad Dog

    That sounds excellent – I’ll have to try it!

  • http://johnellismourant.wordpress.com johnellismourant

    Can I ask what a dutch oven is please?:)

    • http://www.savorysimple.net Savory Simple

      I have one similar to this

  • http://spreescookingspree.wordpress.com spree

    This sounds SO delicious – and I say that never even had a chestnut. Ever. You’ve convinced me though I must. And your photo is stunning!
    Wishing you such a wonderful time with family, such glorious travels through the desert, and happy times with your camera! I’ll anxiously await the visuals! Merry Christmas!

  • http://mayaguesthouse.wordpress.com Maya Guesthouse Project

    I’ll try this recipe this week!

    Greetings from Switzerland

    Louis

  • http://backroadjournal.wordpress.com Karen

    This chestnut soup sounds good and is so appropriate for this time of the year.

  • Sad Man’s Tongue: Rockabilly Bar & Bistro – Prague

    This is a definite recipe for me this week!

  • http://rufusguide.wordpress.com Rufus’ Food and Spirits Guide

    Oh you had me at sherry, OK you had me at that photo!

  • http://mamasgottabake.wordpress.com Mama’s Gotta Bake

    Perfect holiday dish. Looks Yum!

  • mbnilsson

    Looks delicious. My daughter wanted to buy chestnuts but I didn’t know what to do with them. Now I do!

    Noticed a typo in there with desert. It was probably just a little slip-up that spell check missed. Someone once told me that for sand-related it’s “desert” and if it’s sugar-related, it’s “dessert” with a double “s” because you always want two of those! :) I thought that was a good tip. Now if someone could give me a tip for remembering how to spell vaccuum I’ll be set!

    • http://www.savorysimple.net Savory Simple

      I know the difference, I just wrote dessert out of habit :)

      • mbnilsson

        I figured it was probably something like that. And spell check doesn’t pick it up of course. It’s no wonder you have dessert-on-the-brain with so many lovely creations. Safe travels to Tuscon. The American southwest is definitely a magical place. Happy holidays!

        • http://www.savorysimple.net Savory Simple

          To you as well!

  • http://myitaliansmorgasbord.wordpress.com My Italian Smörgåsbord (Aka Barbara)

    amazing idea to have chestnuts in a soup. where does this recipe originally come from?

    • http://www.savorysimple.net Savory Simple

      Well, I didn’t come up with the idea of making chestnut soup, but this particular recipe was created in my kitchen.

  • Michelle

    I have used chestnuts in soup with other things (mushrooms, etc.), but imagine that this one is great with the chestnuts as stars. And, sherry, yes, love that.

  • ceciliag

    Oh honey, i desperately want to make this, it looks divine!, the colour almost has an aroma.. c

  • Kay aka Babygirl

    Oh this Creamy Chestnut Soup just look so delicious and definitely comforting. There’s nothing like comforting soup

  • Christine

    I love chestnuts, but I usually eat them sweet! They’re more common over in Europe and Asia, I hear.

    This soup looks lovely and creamy and delicious, and I wonder if I could skip a lot of the hard work by simply using unsweetened chestnut puree (but then I’d be missing out on those nutty, roasted notes)… hmmm!

  • thesweetkitten

    In my country, chestnuts are used with mashed potatoes to accompany game dishes. So this is new for me! Thanks for sharing :-)

  • http://movitabeaucraft.wordpress.com movita beaucoup

    Why, this sounds like the holidays in a bowl!

  • http://thecompletecookbook.wordpress.com thecompletecookbook

    Don’t think I have ever had chestnut soup before – looks superb.
    :-) Mandy

  • http://corkandspoon.wordpress.com CorkAndSpoon

    I am so happy to see this recipe. My mom wants chestnuts to be incorporated into Christmas eve dinner, but I was at a loss. You have solved my problems. First course = SavorySimple’s Chestnut Soup!
    ~Emilie

  • http://www.flavourfoodandwine.com Elaina @ Flavour

    I’ve never heard of Chestnut Soup…cool! I should give this a try this year :) Thanks x ps. Beautiful shot! Happy Holidays x

  • sweetlab

    I just have to make this be part of my family’s Christmas Eve menu. I’m sure it will be a hit just by glancing over the ingredients. So perfect for the holidays!

  • http://sweetcarolinescooking.wordpress.com Caroline

    Oh, I absolutely love chestnut soup! We have it every year at Thanksgiving. Your version sounds delicious. Hope you have a wonderful time in AZ…take lots of photos! :)

  • thekalechronicles

    A completely yummy and decadent soup. Wish I had a bowl right now. I’m always meaning to make chestnut soup or chestnut puree, but I never get any further than tossing roasted chestnuts in the dressing/stuffing for the bird.

  • http://dragitthroughthegarden.wordpress.com Colleen

    I have actually never had chestnuts (or chestnut soup for that matter) but it looks lovely and I would be interested to try it! Beautiful photo, by the way.

  • http://www.violetsandcardamom.com violetsandcardamom

    I have never eaten nor cooked with chestnuts. This soup makes them look so appetizing. I would love to try this recipe. :)

  • http://www.seattlefoodshed.wordpress.com maryklein8

    This looks like a lovely dish for new year’s eve dinner!

  • http://tspsa.wordpress.com Meredith

    I am supposed to be in Tucson this year, but stuck at home while all my siblings, mom, and aunt celebrate there without me. Definitely the best time of year to visit the desert. Soup looks so silky and rich. I wonder what kind of bread we could dip in it.

  • Pingback: A Seasonal Soup to Serve or Swap | Blogeats

  • http://www.violetsandcardamom.com violetsandcardamom

    Also, I enjoy your blog very much so I nominated you for a Versatile Blogger Award! The details are on my blog. :)

  • http://www.rotinrice.com Biren @ Roti n Rice

    I love chestnuts and this sounds like a delicious soup! Merry Christmas and have a wonderful time in Arizona.

  • Granny

    This does sound and look like a very satisfying soup and well worth the preparation time. Your photography is so crisp. I look forward to seeing pictures from your Tucson Holiday escapade, if you choose to post them, that is. Wishing you a succulent New Year.