Today, I have a super delicious, easy chestnut soup for you. Topped with cinnamon crème fraiche and caramelized croutons.
Though now available year-round, chestnuts (along with most other types of nuts) are harvested in late autumn. Which might explain why they are strongly associated with the festive season. At the time farmers markets and grocery shelves will fill with fresh nuts, it’s indeed time to start thinking about festive menus and decoration.
So how best to prepare chestnuts?
If you love Christmas Markets, you will have noticed the high number of stalls offering chestnuts roasted on open fire. Steaming hot roasted chestnuts topped with butter are indeed a favourite over at Carrots and Tigers, and they never fail to bring back memories of past winter holidays spend in the mountains, visits to Christmas Markets around Europe, or casual family gatherings in front of the fireplace.
Of course, roasting chestnuts is only one way of many to cook with chestnuts. They are perfect for a large range of both hearty and sweet dishes.
Today, I have this tasty chestnut soup for you.
The recipe calls for pre-cooked canned or vacuum-packed chestnuts. However, if you want to use fresh chestnuts (though there is no need, the pre-cooked ones are just as good), you need to soften them first. Which you can easily do cooking them in boiling water for about 10 to 15 minutes. Before adding the chestnuts to the boiling water, make a x incision to one side of the nuts. Let them cool, then peel and just use as described in the recipe.
Recipe: Chestnut Soup with cinnamon crème fraiche and caramelized croutons
400 g pre-cooked chestnuts, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon butter
1 onion, finely diced
600 ml vegetable broth
150 ml white wine
200 ml heavy cream
150 g crème fraiche
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 loaf of sourdough bread, diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon sugar
1-2 tablespoons honey
Heat olive oil in a small skillet. Add bread and fry until golden-brown. Sprinkle with sugar and honey and let caramelize. Set aside until needed.
In a saucepan, melt the butter, then fry the onion until translucent.
Add vegetable broth and bring to boil. Add wine and chestnuts and let simmer for 5 minutes.
Take from the heat and puree the soup until creamy. Season with salt and pepper.
Beat 100 ml of heavy cream until just starting to solidify, add to the soup and stir to combine.
Beat the remaining cream stiff and mix with crème fraiche and cinnamon.
Serve the soup topped with croutons and cinnamon crème fraiche.