Earthy roasted chestnuts are simmered in an aromatic stock until tender, then puréed to make a luxurious cream-thickened soup.
Velouté de Châtaignes (Creamy Chestnut Soup)
To make velouté de châtaignes, or creamy chestnut soup, earthy roasted chestnuts are simmered in an aromatic stock until tender and then puréed.
4 slices bacon, roughly chopped
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 large shallot, roughly chopped
1 medium carrot, roughly chopped
1 small leek, roughly chopped
1 stalk celery, roughly chopped
4 1⁄2 cups chicken stock
2 1⁄2 lb. fresh chestnuts, roasted and peeled, or two 15-oz. jars whole roasted chestnuts, drained
1 bay leaf
1 sprig thyme
1⁄2 cup heavy cream
1⁄2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Heat bacon in a 6-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat; cook, stirring occasionally, until fat is rendered and bacon is almost crisp, 3–4 minutes. Add butter, shallot, carrot, leek, and celery; cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are soft, 5–7 minutes. Add stock, chestnuts, bay leaf, and thyme; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium; cook, slightly covered, until chestnuts are very tender, about 25 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Discard bay leaf and thyme. Working in batches, purée soup in a blender until smooth. Return soup to saucepan and place over medium heat. Stir in cream, nutmeg, salt, and pepper; cook until soup is slightly thick, about 5 minutes more.