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Creamy Chestnut Soup with Candied Walnuts

December 2009
Creamy Chestnut Soup with Candied Walnuts

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Dreaming of something smooth? Dollops of cream are swirled through a chestnut puree crowned with roasted, candied walnuts.

Makes: 10 servings

Prep: 15 mins

Cook: 40 mins

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg white
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 cups walnut halves
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 32 ounce container  plus 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup tawny or ruby port wine
  • 2 14 ounce can  chestnuts packed in water, drained
  • 1 15.3 ounce can  chestnut puree
  • 10 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees . In a medium bowl, whisk together the 1 tablespoon melted butter, the sugar, egg white and 1 pinch salt; fold in the walnuts. Spread the walnut mixture in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until golden-brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Using a metal spatula, loosen the nuts from the pan and transfer to a cutting board. Let cool, then coarsely chop.
  2. In a large Dutch oven, melt the remaining 4 tablespoons butter over medium-low heat; add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened but not browned, about 10 minutes. Stir in the chicken broth and port, cover partially and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the chestnuts and cook for 5 minutes. Gradually whisk in the chestnut puree and cook until heated through, about 5 minutes more. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup (or mix in batches using a standing blender). Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Ladle the soup into 10 bowls. Swirl 1 tablespoon cream into each serving. Sprinkle the parsley and candied walnuts on top.