Winter is just around the corner here in Switzerland. Time to curl up at home, enjoy a hot tea in front of the fireplace, roast some chestnuts...
And why not try a chestnut soup??
A comforting bowl of slight sweetness, smooth and rich in texture. While you're roasting the chestnuts, the house starts to fill with this wonderful, promising smell. And shortly after you can enjoy the delicious, warm and creamy soup. What could be better on a cold winter evening?
This chestnut soup is my new favorite, and I am sure it will make an appearance at our Christmas dinner table.
6 sprigs of fresh thyme
500g (a good pound) chestnuts
2 tablespoons butter
600ml (about 2 1/2 cups) chicken stock (use vegetable stock if you're Vegetarian)
150ml (2/3 cups) cream
200ml (3/4 cups) milk
1 cups freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon olive oil
1. Preheat oven to 220°C/about 440°F. Score an X across the top of each chestnut with a sharp knife. Place nuts on a baking sheet and roast for about 20 minutes. Let cool until you can remove the shell.
2. Chop chestnuts, set about 2-3 tabelspoons aside. (and by the way, if you can't resist trying one or two of the delicious nuts at this point, go ahead! I always do and the soup will still turn out fine)
3. Peel and finely chop onion. Remove leaves from two thyme sprigs.
4. In a stock pot, melt butter over medium heat, and sauté onion, thyme leaves, and chopped chestnuts for a few minutes. Add stock and cream and let simmer for 20 minutes.
5. Using a handheld blender, puree soup. Add milk and salt to taste.
6. In a small frying pan, heat the olive oil, and briefly fry the saved chestnuts.
7. Serve soup in individual bowls with thyme sprigs and fried chestnuts.