Chestnut Soup roasting on an open stove, jack frost nipping at your nose...the holidays have just begun.
Chestnuts are a very British thing to eat around the holidays, even if you don't roast them over an open fire. They are sold on street corners, roasted in a huge drum (similar to the way they roast Hatch chiles in New Mexico). They're good that way, but I prefer them in soup. This soup is very smooth and delicate. It goes well with the Breast of Tofu I posted last week.
And best of all, it's simple to make, requiring very little dicing and stirring.
This recipe makes 4 generous servings. Double or triple it if company's coming.
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 shallots, minced
1 can chestnut puree
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp salt
ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon rubbed sage
2 cups soy milk
1 cup water
soy cream, for swirling
sizzled sage leaves
Heat the olive oil in a pan and add the bay leaf and shallots. Sauté until lightly golden.
Add the chestnut puree, salt, pepper, sage, soymilk and water. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Simmer for 10 minutes. Pour the mixture into a food processor or blender and blend until smooth
Return mixture to the pan and add additional water if needed. Serve in individual bowls, with soy cream swirled around for garnish if you wish, or maybe a sizzled sage leaf.
Notes on ingredients: Chestnut puree is available at some grocery stores in the states, as well as Whole Foods and places like that. It's available everywhere here, so ask your British friends to send you some if you can't find it anywhere else.