This is a rich soup perfect for the winter time. Instead of the standard Butternut Squash soup for winter holidays give this one a try. The walnut oil in the recipe can be replaced by a good olive oil and celery root can be replaced by potato or parsnip. Enjoy —Easy13
1/2 pound peeled fresh chestnuts (from about 1 pound chestnuts in the shell) or dry-packed bottled or vacuum-sealed peeled chestnuts
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Medium onion, peeled, trimmed and thinly sliced
Medium leek, white part only, thinly sliced, washed and dried
McIntosh apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
Celery root, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
Sage Leaves rough chopped
Salt & Pepper
Chicken or Vegetable Stock
Walnut Oil, Chopped Walnut and Ciffonade of Sage for garnish
Preheat oven at 350°F. In a large saucepan, bring 1 quart water to a boil over high heat. Add the walnuts and boil, uncovered, 1 minute. Drain well. Spread the walnuts on a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil. Bake 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden and fragrant. Cool on a rack.
Heat the oil in a stockpot on medium heat. Add the onion, leek, apples, celery root, sage, thyme, nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste and cook, stir occasionally, for about 10 minutes, or until the onions and leeks are soft but not colored. Add the chestnuts, 1/2 cup of the walnuts and chicken stock and bring to the boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook for 35 to 40 minutes. Add the heavy cream and tabasco, simmer for 5 to 10 minutes more, then remove from the heat and discard thyme sprig.
Puree the soup until smooth using a blender or a food processor, and working in batches if necessary. For a refined thinner soup pass through a fine-mesh strainer, for heartier soup don't strain, I prefer the latter. You should have about 2 quarts soup. Simmer it over medium heat until slightly thickened. Taste and, if necessary, adjust the seasoning or add more stock/cream to meet your desired consistency. (The soup can be cooled completely and stored in a covered container in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days or frozen for up to one month. Bring the soup to a boil before serving.)
For service - garnish each bowl with the remaining toasted walnuts (chopped), chiffonade of sage and drizzle of walnut oil