A New Holiday Culinary Tradition: Chestnuts Roasting in a Yultide Soup

Roasted Chestnut Soup with Festive Garnish

Roasted Chestnut Soup with Festive Garnish

I remember walking among the bustling crowds at Times Square a few years ago at Christmas time. There were the usual hot dog and bagel street vendors, but also carts full of roasted chestnuts for sale. It was so fun to get a paper cup full to munch on as we walked along. Chestnuts have a delicate roasted flavor when fresh and warm.

When I saw a recipe for Roasted Chestnut Soup in this month’s Fine Cooking magazine, I knew I had to make some version of this. It turned out so yummy – Our newest holiday culinary tradition begins!

Chestnuts roasting in a Hot, Hot Oven

Chestnuts roasting in a Hot, Hot Oven

Chestnuts are sweet when roasted, so I added some vinegar to balance the sweetness, and some soy sauce for ‘umami.’

ROASTED CHESTNUT SOUP

1 1/2 pounds whole chestnuts
1 large red onion, diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cups vegetable broth (or any broth you have on hand)
4 cups water
1 cup light sour cream
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar ( or more to taste)
A few dashes Tabasco sauce, to taste
Sat and pepper to taste

Place chestnuts in a bowl and cover with hot water. Soak for one hour.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Make an “X” cut on the flat side of the chestnuts, and place cut side up on a baking sheet. Roast for 30 minutes. Allow to cool to warm and scoop the flesh out of the chestnuts with a spoon. Dice chestnut flesh.

Peeling Roasted Chestnuts

Peeling Roasted Chestnuts

In a large stockpot, saute onion in oil over medium heat until softened. Add broth, water and chestnut flesh. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, until chestnut bits are very soft. Remove from heat and stir in all remaining ingredients.

Blend in batches in a blender. Strain through a fine strainer to remove small hard chestnut bits.

Spoon into bowls and garnish as desired. I used red bell pepper slices and diced green onions to give the bowls a Christmas flair.

Other brave bloggers’ adventures with chestnuts:
Sauteed Chestnuts, Onions and Bacon, Simply Recipes
Chestnut Stuffing, Slash Food
Chestnut Apple Soup, Sassy Radish
Italian Lentil and Chestnut Stew, Closet Cooking

— posted by Donna

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