Chestnuts: Chestnut and Celery Root Soup

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium onion (about 5 ounces) cut into one-fourth-inch dice
  • 4 ounces leeks, white part only, cut into one-fourth-inch dice
  • 1 green apple, peeled, cored and cut into one-fourth-inch dice
  • 12 ounces fresh peeled or frozen chestnuts
  • 1 rib of celery, cut into one-fourth-inch dice
  • One-half pound celery root, cut into one-fourth-inch dice
  • 3 sprigs of thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 pint heavy cream
  • 10 and one-half cups chicken stock or water
  • Garnish: 8 ounces duck prosciutto or regular prosciutto cut very thin and dried in a 210-degree oven for about 1 and one-half hours or until it is dry and crispy (optional)

1)Melt the butter in a big pot over medium flame. Add the onion and leek, and cook, uncovered, for about 5 minutes without browning. Add the apple, chestnuts, celery, celery root, thyme and bay leaf and  cook for 10 minutes without browning.

2)Add the cream and the chicken stock, bring to a boil and simmer for 45 minutes or until the vegetables are completely cooked and soft.

3)Remove the thyme and the bay leaf and puree in batches in a blender until smooth. Garnish with prosciutto, if desired. Serves 8.

(Adapted from the recipe of Bertrand Bouquin, chef at the Summit Restaurant at The Broadmoor, Colorado Springs, Colo.)

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