The cold change came so unexpectedly on Sunday, there is no trace of summer left. Even the golden sunny days are now replaced with gray winter days.
At the market, autumn produces are making their ways. While I still crave for stone fruits, they are certainly dearer and not as tasty. Instead, apples, pears and persimmons are more abundant. I am enjoying them in a great deal, especially the small and crispy apples. Just perfect balance of sweet and sour notes.
And of course, chestnuts are finally here. By that, I mean fresh chestnuts, the autumn chestnuts, which are sold in the market. It has been a tradition in our family. We always roast our chestnuts. Every autumn and early winter, without fail. This year, however, since the Husband has found his new love in cracking those lovely fresh Victorian walnuts, I have the chance to save up some chestnuts to do something differently. Nothing spectacular, just a simple soup that I have meant to cook for a long time.
I won´t lie. Australian chestnuts are a pain to peel. Maggie Beer has complained about it. So as @lemonpi and @reemski. It took me quite a while to peel all the chestnuts, which made the soup even more special. (I saw some “easy-to-peel” chestnuts at the market on Saturday. A little too late since I already got 1kg in my bag. Next time, then!).
Two things to remember for this super simple recipe. Use home-made chicken stock. Cream is not necessary, so next time I will drop it entirely. The soup is so sweet, nutty and creamy. It is fairly rich, so serve in small portions as entrée is ideal.
Based on “Harvest” by Maggie Beer.
1 leek, white part only, finely diced
2 sticks celery, thinly sliced
500g blanched chestnuts (make a cross on the skin, boil and peel the skin off)
1 bay leaf
2 tbp olive oil
1.5 litre chicken stock
cream (very optional)
Heat the olive oil, add in leek, celery, chestnuts and bay leaf. Stir over medium high heat until everything is soft.
Season with salt.
Add in the stock. Bring to the boil, then simmer until the chetsnuts are soft (30 mins).
Remove the bay leaf. Blend well in a food processor until smooth. Check seasoning. Add the cream.
Reheat gently then serve.
Note: this soup is specificaly prepared to contribute to World Autism Awareness Day organised by the lovely Neil of At my table. I’m terribly late, but it’s better than never. You can see other dishes contributed here.