Chestnut Soup
(Soupe aux Chataignes)

Chestnut Soup or Soupe aux Chataignes is still popular french soup from the Aquitaine area of France due to the abundance of sweet chestnuts which are still grown here.

The problem with Les Chataignes (chestnuts) is peeling them. The way we were shown was to score the chestnuts with a knife then bring to the boil in a large pan and simmer for about 10 mins, drain a few at a time and peel off the inner and outer skins while hot, if you allow them to cool the skins will not come off.

Sometimes it may be easier to cut the chestnuts in half when cooked and scoop out the flesh. Or if you plan ahead, boil the chestnuts then drain. Cover with a tea towel and put a lid on the pot and leave for a few days to allow the chestnuts to sweat and the skins come off easier then.

Chestnut soup (Soupe aux Chataignes)

Serves:- 6-8, Preparation time:- 10 mins,(not including preparing the chestnuts) Cooking time:- 1 hour

Ingredients

* 1 kg of chestnuts ready to cook with, (ie. peeled)
* whites of 4 leeks, washed and chopped
* 55g of butter
* 2 turnips peeled and chopped
* 1 potato peeled and chopped
* 4 carrots peeled and chopped
* 3 tablespoons of crème fraiche
* salt and pepper
* croutons

Method

* melt your butter in a large pan with a lid

* add leeks and sweat gently for 10 mins

* add the rest of the vegetables and chestnuts

* add 2 litres of water and salt and pepper

* bring to the boil, then cover and simmer for 45 mins

* pureé with a blender and season to taste

* stir in the crème fraiche add the croutons and serve

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