By Dana Minuta, Private Executive Chef, New York
Forget the cookies and milk, and forget about being on the “nice” list. If you make my chestnut soup for Santa this year, he’ll give you anything you want. Roasting and peeling fresh chestnuts can be a bit laborious. You can often find good quality roasted and peeled chestnuts at gourmet markets, but the flavor is much better when they are freshly roasted. So light up the fire, open some wine and enlist your friends and family to help you. After all, isn’t that what the holidays are about?
Chestnut Soup with Madeira Cream and Fresh Black Truffle
1.5 pound fresh chestnuts, roasted and peeled
1 oz grass-fed butter
3 oz leek, washed and diced
1 oz fennel, diced
1 oz carrot, diced
5 cups chicken or vegetable stock
3 sprigs fresh thyme and one bay leaf
tied in cheesecloth
6 oz grass-fed heavy cream
1 oz Madeira
1 fresh black truffle
1 bunch fresh chives, sliced
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1. In a heavy-bottomed pot, melt the butter
over medium heat. Add the leek, fennel and
Carrot; season with salt. Add the sachet of
thyme and bay leaf, cover the pot with a lid and
allow to sweat over low heat for 10 minutes.
2. Add the stock to the pot along with the
peeled chestnuts. Season with salt and pepper
and simmer until the chestnuts become very
soft, about 20 minutes.
3. Carefully transfer the soup to a blender (a
Vitamix variable speed blender works best).
Do not fill the blender more than 2/3 of the
way; blend in batches if necessary. Puree until
very smooth. Strain the soup through a chinois
into a clean pot.
4. Return the soup to the stove. Add the
heavy cream and warm through, then add the
Taste for seasoning.
5. Serve the soup into six warmed bowls. Shave
the truffle over each bowl, garnish withb chives
and serve immediately.
The rest of my holiday menu will include Christmas goose served with duck sausage and driedbcherry stuffing, Brussels sprout hash and cranberry mostarda. You’ll be able to find additionalbholiday recipes on my Instagram @chefdanaminuta.
Wishing you all a happy and delicious holiday season!