To me fall is the perfect time for making soup – from hearty main courses to veggie soups served as a starter or for lunch. The theme for our recent Gourmet Dinner Club (GDC) gathering was fall vegetables and I was assigned a side. I decided this was the perfect opportunity to try out a new soup recipe. And, I’m pleased to say that I found a very good one.

At first taste you would be hard pressed to identify the main ingredients of carrots and chestnuts.  It wasn’t until Ed was about halfway through a bowl that he really tasted the carrots (he had a preview prior to our GDC dinner).  It’s a lovely combination that creates a very flavorful and creamy soup – all without any dairy except for the finishing dollop of creme fraiche.

I had never cooked with chestnuts before.  I took a shortcut and bought Melissa’s Chestnuts which were already cooked and peeled.  All I needed to do was roast them for ten minutes in the oven.  I recommend this route. Don’t forget to leave a few chestnuts for the garnish – it adds a bit of “crunch” to the soup.

This soup is perfect as part of a simple dinner or a special holiday meal (think Thanksgiving). And, it freezes well, so you can make it ahead of time.

Wine Pairing:  Grüner Veltliner from Austria (white)

Roasted Carrot and Chestnut Soup

 

 

Roasted Carrot and Chestnut Soup
5.0 from 1 reviews
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Recipe type: Side
Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 3 pounds carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 shallots, minced
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ¾ cup (5.5 ounces) chestnuts, roasted and coarsely chopped (for soup base)
  • 6-8 ounces creme fraiche
  • 1 ounce chestnuts, roasted and finely chopped (for garnish)
  • ¼ cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
Instructions
  1. Preheat an oven to 400ºF.
  2. In a bowl, combine the carrots, olive oil, salt and pepper and toss to coat. Transfer to a baking sheet and bake until the carrots are tender and golden around the edges, 45 to 50 minutes.
  3. In a soup pot over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the shallots and sauté, stirring, until tender and translucent, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the carrots, stock, ginger, allspice and chestnuts and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes.
  4. Using a Vitamix, immersion hand blender, regular blender or food processor, purée the soup in batches until smooth. Return the soup to the pot and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Garnish each serving with a dollop of creme fraiche and sprinkling of chestnuts and parsley.
  6. Serves 6.
Notes
* I recommend using Melissa's Chestnuts which come cooked and shelled. Use 5.5 ounces of the package for the soup base and the remaining ounce as a garnish.
* If you don't have an immersion hand blender, I highly recommend getting one. You may not use it all the time, but when you need it you will be so happy to have it. It makes recipes like this a breeze as you blend the food in the same pot you use to cook.

 

Source:  Variation of a recipe from Williams-Sonoma Kitchen (website)

 

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2014-01-28T12:02:39+00:00 October 23rd, 2012|Categories: Sides|Tags: , , , , , , , , |1 Comment

One Comment

  1. LuAnn October 23, 2012 at 8:09 pm - Reply

    As the lucky GDC member who got to sample this soup, all I can say is YUMMO! I’ve been waiting for the recipe so that I can make a batch up myself.

    This is a must try!!

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