Recipe: Creamy Celeriac and Chestnut Soup | Seven Days Vermont

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Recipe: Creamy Celeriac and Chestnut Soup 

Published November 23, 2007 at 4:15 p.m.

My husband and I invented this soup on Thanksgiving, and it turned out really well. As usual, I didn't measure as I cooked, so this is more a technique than a recipe. But this way, when I publish my first cookbook with all of the actual measurements, you'll still want to buy it! Maybe.

Creamy Celeriac and Chestnut Soup

A bunch of chestnuts
Homemade chicken stock
Olive oil
Celery stalks
Heavy Cream

With a very sharp knife, cut an X into the flat side of each chestnut. Be careful. Place the chestnuts in a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, and leave for around 10 minutes. Turn of the heat. Now you must be brave. Remove two or three chestnuts from the water with a slotted spoon. The shell around the X you cut should have opened up like flower petals. Pull off the hot shells, trying to burn your fingers as little as possible. Often, there is a skin left on the chesnuts once the shell is removed. Carefully remove that, too. Continue until  all of the chestnuts are peeled. If it becomes impossible to slip off the skins, bring the pot of water back to a simmer for a couple of minutes.

Peel and chop the onions, shallots and celeriac. Wash and chop the parsnips and celery, setting any celery leaves aside for another use. Sweat the vegetables in a small amount of olive oil, stirring regularly, until the onions are translucent and the parsnips and celeriac have begun to soften. At the same time, bring the stock to a boil.

Add the vegetables and chestnuts to the stock, reserving one nut per serving for garnish. Simmer until the vegetables are completely tender. 

Puree the soup with an immersion blender, stir in cream, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Top each serving with a sliced chestnut.

***** Added Note...

The soup can easily be adapted to fit vegetarian or vegan lifestyles. To make it vegan, just use homemade vegetable stock instead of chicken stock, and leave out the cream.


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About The Author

Suzanne Podhaizer

Suzanne Podhaizer

Former contributor Suzanne Podhaizer is an award-winning food writer (and the first Seven Days food editor) as well as a chef, farmer, and food-systems consultant. She has given talks at the Stone Barns Center for Agriculture's "Poultry School" and its flagship "Young Farmers' Conference." She can slaughter a goose, butcher a pig, make ramen from scratch, and cook a scallop perfectly.


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