From "The Flexitarian Table" comes this wonderful soup that is to be paired with the penne with beets. It was delicious, once I was finally able to obtain chestnuts and do the whole roasting thing. I will be making it again, or some variation of it, like this one.
Trying this soup was reminiscent of the first time I had a good butternut squash soup. It was an eye opening experience. The seasonings and flavors of this apple chestnut soup really make it an experience not to be forgotten. Yum.
Apple Chestnut Soup
1 lb chestnuts in shell (3 cups), scored and soaked in warm water for 30 minutes
4 Tblsp unsalted butter
2 c. finely chopped onions
2 tsp chopped fresh sage
2 tsp chopped peeled fresh ginger
2 medium yukon gold potatoes, peeled & chopped
2 medium parsnips, peeled and chopped
1 large apple, such as mutsu, winesap, gala, or golden delicious, peeled, cored & chopped
4.5-5 cups stock or water
2/3 c half-n-half or heavy cream
freshly ground black pepper
maple syrup for serving
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spread soaked chestnuts on rimmed baking sheet. Roast until the shells crack open and you can easily peel away the skins, 45-60 minutes. Wrap in a clean towel and steam until cool enough to handle, 5-10 minutes. Pull away the shells, then the skins, briefly return to the oven any that are difficult.
In 4-5 quart dutch oven or other heavy pot, melt butter over medium heat and let it cook until it has turned golden and ceased to sputter, about 5 minutes. Add onions, sage, ginger and 1/2 tsp salt, cover, and cook, stirring frequently, and adjusting the heat as necessary to keep the onions from browning, until the onions are golden and meltingly tender, about 15 minutes.
Add potatoes, parsnips, apple, chestnuts, and stock or water to cover the vegetables. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat, simmer until vegetables are tender enough to crush against side of pot, 25-30 minutes.
Using immersion blender, or working in batches with regular blender, puree soup until smooth. Blend in cream if using and thin with more stock or water if desired. Transfer to saucepan and reheat, seasoning with salt & pepper and serve with a drizzle of maple syrup.