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Chestnut Soup with Spiced Cream

Chestnut Soup with Spiced Cream
Unlike most nuts, chestnuts contain little fat, making them a healthful and delicious addition to holiday menus. With their subtle, nutty taste, chestnuts are a perfect balance for richer ingredients, such as the butter and cream in this soup. Chestnuts can also be chopped and combined with savory dressings or vegetables to lend texture and flavor.

Ingredients:

For the spiced cream:

  • 1⁄2 cup heavy cream
  • Pinch of ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • Pinch of ground ginger
  • 1⁄4 tsp. sugar
  • Pinch of salt

For the soup:

  • 4 Tbs. (1⁄2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into
     small pieces
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 1 jar (14.8 oz.) prepared French chestnuts
  • 4 cups unsalted chicken stock
  • 2 Tbs. Marsala
  • 1⁄2 cup heavy cream
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Directions:

To make the spiced cream, in a small bowl, combine the cream, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, sugar and salt and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

To make the soup, in a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and celery and cook until tender and translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the chestnuts and stock, increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the chestnuts are very soft, about 20 minutes.

Using a blender, puree the soup in batches until smooth and return the soup to the pan. Alternatively, process with a stick blender until smooth. Add the Marsala and cream, season with salt and pepper and stir to combine. Set the pan over medium heat and reheat the soup gently. Whisk the spiced cream until lightly foamy.

Ladle the soup into warmed bowls and garnish each serving with a swirl of the spiced cream. Serve immediately.
Serves 8 to 10.
Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.