Creamy chestnut soup: the perfect soup for the festive Christmas season. Decadent but simple, it definitely tastes like a special occasion soup. Chestnuts are puréed with shallots, celery root, apple, a pinch of cinnamon, cream, crème fraîche and a splash of lemon to create what is, an absolutely delicious starter or appetizer. It’s a must to make. Pour a glass of red wine, grab a spoon and enjoy! You’ll love it!
This chestnut soup is very straightforward and easy to make. You basically simmer everything together, puree, and then add the crème fraîche at the end to make a luxuriously creamy soup to be served with your favourite garnish. This wonderful vegetarian soup creation was served at a friend’s birthday party last year of a friend and we all were lucky enough to have it shared with us, a recipe which for the most part was made “by feel” of an experienced cook. So I am so happy to have been able to recreate it, so I can share it with you.
Garnishing a chestnut soup
I top my soup with a mix of sautéed mushrooms with chili and cashews, which is terrific with a cream of mushroom soup or even a potato soup. Two things I must share with you! But that aside, there are countless ways to garnish a soup like this. You could try some fried up bacon or prosciutto with a sprinkling of chives or micro-greens. Or try fried onions with a pinch of chili flakes and sourdough croutons. Or what about a drizzle of chili oil or truffle oil? Options are endless!
Looking for other ideas on how to cook with chestnuts? Try one of these recipes:
Chestnut Soup – Creamy & Delicious
- 2 tablespoons ghee or olive oil
- 3 shallots, finely chopped
- 1/4 small celery root, peeled and finely chopped
- 400 g chestnuts (pre-cooked, vacuum-packed), chopped (2 x 200 g packages)
- 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon (Ceylon)
- 1/3 cup dry white wine (80 ml)
- 1 litre chicken of vegetable broth
- 1/2 medium apple, peeled and cut into pieces
- 250 g heavy cream whipping cream
- sea salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1 x 150 g container crème fraîche
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- chopped flat-leaf parsley, to garnish
mushroom and cashew topping (optional)
- splash of extra-virgin olive oil
- 250 g mushrooms, sliced
- 1 small clove garlic, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp cashews
- ½ tsp red chili flakes
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- sea salt
In a large saucepan, heat the ghee or oil over medium to medium-high, sauté shallots until golden, add celery root. Cook a further 2 minutes.
Add the chopped chestnuts to the saucepan, along with the cinnamon. Stir and then add the white wine. Sauté until reduced and then add the broth. Add the apple pieces and season with salt and pepper.
Simmer for 5 minutes, then add the cream and cook over medium heat for 20 minutes, or until the celery is softened.
Puree with an immersion blender, until smooth and then stir in the crème fraîche and lemon juice.
To serve, ladle the chestnut soup into bowls and finish with a scatter of parsley, or other garnish of choice.
For the topping (optional):
While the soup cooks prepare the topping by heating a drizzle of oil over medium to medium-high in a medium skillet. Add the mushrooms and garlic and cook for 3-4 minutes, until the mushrooms until softened. Add the cashews, chili flakes, and toss for a minute or so until the nuts are golden-brown. Squeeze over the lemon juice and season with sea salt.
Add a spoonful of the mushroom topping to the soup or serve on the side. Enjoy!
- Ready-prepared chestnuts (vacuum-packed) can be found in most supermarkets. There is no need to roast your own!
- The soup can be cooled completely and stored in a covered jar in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days or frozen for up to a month. Bring the soup back to a boil before serving.
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