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Food

Chestnut soup with parsnip and parmesan crisps

Preparation time
25 minutes
Cooking time
55 minutes
Serves
4

INGREDIENTS

  • 400g chestnuts
  • 30g butter
  • 2 brown onions, roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 sticks celery, roughly chopped
  • 1 desire potato, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 1 litre chicken stock
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • ½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 200ml cream
  • Extra virgin olive oil to drizzle

Parsnip and parmesan crisps

  • 2 small parsnips, peeled
  • 100g freshly grated parmesan cheese

METHOD

  1. Preheat an oven to 200°C.
  2. Cut an X into the top of each chestnut and place on an oven tray. Roast for 25-30 minutes or until shells have blackened and cracked open. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly so you can easily handle them to crack open the outer shells and remove the inner skin. Roughly chop. If they aren’t peeling away easily return to the oven for a further 5-10 minutes and try again.
  3. Place a large heavy based saucepan over a medium high heat, add the butter and when melted add the onions, garlic and celery and cook for 3-4 minutes or until translucent but not coloured. Add the potato and chestnuts and cook for 1-2 minutes.
  4. Pour in stock and add bay leaf and thyme. Cover and bring to the boil, reduce heat to simmer for 20-25 minutes or until chestnuts are very soft. Discard bay leaf and thyme sprigs and allow too cool slightly. Working in batches, transfer to a blender and puree until smooth.
  5. Pour into a clean saucepan over a medium heat, add the cream and season with nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a simmer before serving ladles of soup into bowls and garnish with parsnip crisps.
  6. For parsnip crisps, using a very sharp peeler working from the top of the parsnip peel 1-2 mm thick shards of parsnip. Arrange on a baking paper lined oven tray, spray lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with very finely grated parmesan cheese. Roast for 15-20 minutes or until crisp and golden. Allow to cool slightly before using to garnish bowls of hot chestnut soup. Drizzle soup with extra virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Note: If chestnuts are not in season they can be found either dried or canned in specially grocers or delis.

Food
Preparation time
25 minutes
Cooking time
55 minutes
Serves
4

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