Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Chestnut, Celery Root and Pear Soup

I am crazy about chestnuts. While freshly roasted ones are great, I am more than happy with the cooked and peeled ones that are sold in jars and usually imported from France. I can eat them as is, but they are so fun to cook with. Fabulous with Brussels sprouts. Special in stuffing. Beautiful in Bolognese sauce (they are the secret ingredient!). And, of course, luscious in soups.

I first made chestnut soup about two years ago. While very good, chestnuts were the only main ingredient, and consequently, I found it a tad bit intense. So this time, I decided to contrast the rich, dense quality of the chestnuts with clean, crisp celery root and a pear, for a little extra intrigue. It worked really, really well. You'll get plently of chestnut flavor, but the other ingredients keep it interesting --you won't want to stop eating it.

For the final touch, I added a few drops of truffle oil to each serving. So nice. If you don't have any, you can skip it or just use some good extra-virgin olive oil. As soon as dinner was over, I sat down and typed up the recipe, so I wouldn't forget a single thing (which can happen when you make things up as you go along). Wishing I had some more of it right now...

Celery Root, Chestnut and Pear Soup
You can find jarred chestnuts at Whole Foods, specialty/gourmet markets, and many supermarkets, especially around the holidays. And here on amazon.

Makes 2 to 3 main dish servings or 4 to 6 first course servings (doubles easily)

1 Tbs olive oil
1 white onion, chopped
Pinch dried thyme
Pinch dried rosemary
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 cups water
1 small celery root (about 3-inch diameter), peeled and chopped
9 ounces jarred roasted and peeled chestnuts
1 large bartlett or anjou pear, peeled and chopped
1 tsp white wine vinegar
For garnish: chopped chestnuts, crumbled goat cheese, truffle oil

Heat the oil in a large pot on medium high. Add onion, thyme, rosemary and salt and pepper to taste. Cook until soft and lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more. Add broth and water and bring to a boil. Add celery root and simmer, covered until just tender, about 10 minutes. Add pear and chestnuts and simmer 10 to 15 minutes more, or until all ingredients are very soft (If you don’t have quite enough water to just cover ingredients, add 1/4 to 1/2 cup more. You want to use minimal liquid in order to make a thick soup.).

Remove from heat. Puree with an immersion blender or in a regular blender. Reheat soup on low to medium low heat. Add vinegar and check seasoning. Ladle into bowls and garnish with chopped chestnuts (about 1 per person), goat cheese and a few drops of truffle oil.


herbal products said...

The taste is quite rich due to the potent mixture of these herbs. It is exotic in kind. The health benefit is quite commendable as well.

Sarah Michelle said...

i really found it easy nice n well arranged recipe at your site. i must try this. :)