Chestnut cream soup with celery and paprika

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Toothbrush tree 027I ate an amazing chestnut cream soup in Lyon last week (in France) and I liked it so much that I wanted to give it a try. So I prepared yesterday and it turned out a great success.

By the way did you know that that chestnut has many benefits, such as: the fresh chestnut fruits have about 180 calories (800 kJ) per 100 grams of edible parts, which is much lower than walnuts, almonds, or other nuts and dried fruit (about 600 kcal/100 g). Chestnuts contain no cholesterol and contain very little fat, mostly unsaturated, and no gluten.

Their carbohydrate content compares with that of wheat and rice; chestnuts have twice as much starch as the potato. In some areas, sweet chestnut trees are called “the bread tree” because of its nutrition values. So I ate not only a delicious food, but also a healthy one!


2 cups hot water

1 rib celery, diced

2 large shallots, parsnips, finely chopped

1 bouquet garni (1 sprig each of bay leaf, thyme and parsley)

3 tablespoons butter

3 cups chicken stock or canned broth

1 1/4 pounds coarsely chopped peeled roasted chestnuts or 12 ounces bottled chestnuts

100 ml dry Sherry

for garnish: grilled paprika and crouton (deep fry julienned strips of leek as well in 365 degree F/ oil)

creme fraiche or cream for garnish

Toothbrush tree 022Methods:

1. In a saucepan melt butter and add julienned celery, parsnips and shallots. Sauté them until tender. Add bouquet garni and chicken stock. Add chestnuts. Bring to boil, reduce heat cover and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Working in batches, puree soup in blender until smooth, return soup to saucepan. Pour over the Sherry. Bring soup to simmer, add 100 ml cream, correct seasonings (adding salt and pepper, to taste if it is necessary).

Grill diced paprika in some olive oil, season with salt and pepper. Whisk crème fraîche into soup, add black pepper and 2 tablespoons of sherry as well. Season with freshly, chopped parsley.

Ladle soup into bowls. Top with vegetables, and garnish with crouton and grilled paprika.

This soup can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cool slightly and refrigerate. Re-warm over medium heat before consuming.



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