Can I just say that dealing with chestnuts is not exactly the most fun task in the world, which I’m sure any of you who’ve done it would agree with me.
They’re just sort of high maintenance compared to what you get from them. However, I really like using them and I’ve gotta say I’ve dealt with much worse ingredients in my foodblogging past so it’s not too bad to mess with them a few times a year. Plus, you all know how much I love to get into themes and stuff, and come on, chestnuts and Christmastime go together like pb&j! Am I right? Am I right????
Before I get into that, I never really had the chance to ask you about your holidays and the following weekend. How was yours? I hope you all had great ones, ours was great but definitely very different. As I told you last week, we did our Thanksgiving dinner early, on Tuesday actually, so that we could spend it with some of our extended family members that had to travel the next day. I’ve got to admit that doing it that way made Thursday a very strange day for me. It was the first actual Thanksgiving day of my life that we weren’t having a traditional feast.
Haha, in fact, I ended up making just a small batch of classic chili mac for those who didn’t want to eat more of the leftovers that were still occupying a large portion of our fridge space from our “fakes-giving”. Oh, and then half of the household went out to do different things that day so it was a very typical weekday, nothing more.
Moment of brutal honesty here; it felt kind of sad to me, and I had a short moment of feeling like a complete outsider in a foreign land. Egh, but then I remembered how much I love it here, put on my big-girl pants, and then got over it. Besides, our early celebration was probably one of our best Turkey days (Okay fine we did chicken, but still) that we’ve ever had together so I can live with that.
This week so far, I’ve just been desperately trying to get my mind past the growing heat levels and imagine the crisp late November weather of my childhood. Not gonna lie, it’s not working out too well for me because I just can’t do it. On the flip side though, I can’t even describe how happy I get whenever I hear Christmas music playing, regardless of the season, so I’ve been resorting that as my consolation and listening almost non-stop. Which reminds me, I love my classics but I also could really use some new stuff before the season is over. Anyone have suggestions????
Alrighty, aside from the chestnuts, this soup is a breeze to make and it has so many of the flavors that I love about the holiday season. I really wanted to get the chestnut flavor in there so I added quite a bit. The thing is, I have a lot of chestnuts available to me here because they grow everywhere in this region but if you live where they are hard to find you can cut the amount in half and you’ll still have a great soup. One more thing, if you want to make it a whole meal you can add some protein like leftover chicken or leftover(if not vegetarian), or some type of beans would work well also. Just feel free to make it your own.
Okay, so you all have to make this, and if you live up North then take a moment to cozy on up by the fire and enjoy a big bowl of it for me! Hehe, and for those of us in the south, maybe we can crank up the AC and do the same thing even despite the weather.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 medium apples, peeled and finely diced
- 4 stalks celery, finely chopped
- 1 pound (about 3 medium) red skin potatoes, washed and cut into cubes
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh sage leaves, roughly chopped
- 8 cups chicken or vegetable stock (use vegetable for vegan)
- 2/3 cup heavy cream or coconut cream (use coconut for vegan)
- 2 tablespoons flour (or arrowroot starch for gluten free)
- 2 cups shelled, roasted chestnuts (see this post for how to roast them)
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- In a large, wide-topped pot or dutch oven heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add the garlic, onion, celery, apples, potatoes, rosemary, and sage. Cook for 7 to 8 minutes, stirring very often, until the potatoes are just starting to soften. Pour in the stock, then cover pot with lid and bring to a boil.
- Chop the chestnuts into small pieces and add to the pot when it starts to boil. Remove lid, reduce heat to medium low, and boil uncovered for about 20 minutes until the potatoes are very soft.
- Whisk the cream and flour together in a small bowl or glass until smooth, then stir it into the soup.
- Continue stirring continuously until the soup starts to thicken. Season to taste with salt and pepper then remove from heat and allow it to cool off just a little bit before serving.
If you'd like to make this a complete meal you could add some meat or beans depending on your preference. :)