Sunday, 11 December 2011

chestnut soup




i have quite literally eaten my own body weight in canapes...!

... this time of year... other than the frantic running around to buy Christmas prezzies, send out cards, prep The Big Meal and deal with the hoards of family and friends... most people start to wind down and relax... unfortunately for me and many of us in the event world, now is our most frenzied moment of the year... it's Christmas party after Christmas party and no, not the kind we can enjoy but the kind with moody, miserable and drunk clients who think they're hysterical, particularly after their 8th champagne cocktail and seventeenth time at Maria Carey's 'All I Want for Christmas' on the karaoke machine...

... I hardly eat because once I get home at midnight i'm either too tired or too sick from the delicious but too rich canapes i've snuffled in the kitchen thinking I better grab something or die standing up... I guess my point is that i'm not around to do much cooking of my own and when I do it has to be fast, simple, healthy and as comforting as possible...

Chestnut Soup
I will be making this as a small starter for our Christmas meal.  It has the most wonderful Christmas taste and is a great way to ease you into the spirit of what's to come.  It's also one of my mum's best soup recipes, she often made it for dinner parties when we were growing up at home and the smell reminds me of sitting on the stairs waiting for her friends to arrive before going off to bed, knowing what deliciousness they were about to enjoy!


1 large onion – finely chopped
1 celery stalk – finely chopped
2 large carrot – finely chopped
roughly 10 chestnut mushrooms – chopped
1 250g tin of chestnut puree (not the sweetened kind)
2 pints of good quality vegetable stock

- in a large pan, sauté the onions, celery and carrots in butter until soft and the onions are beginning to turn translucent

- add the chopped mushrooms, stir and then place the lid on the pan and let them sweat down for 10 minutes

- add the stock and then the chestnut puree, let it simmer for 25 minutes before blitzing with a hand-blender.

Serve with a swirl of single cream and some caramelised onions, eat and of course, enjoy!

22 comments:

  1. In Eventland no-one can hear you scream.

    The trick with Embassy canapes is to simply carry them around and, as trays are offered, leave the old and carry on carrying with the new. You have to rely on the waiters a lot of course otherwise things get awfully well-fingered. I once carried the same mushroom vol-au-vent around Argentina eight times and would not have been surprised to see it appear the following evening in Libya. Fortunately, the pastry was rather sturdy.

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  2. That's amazing!!
    Happy Sunday

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  3. D'ya know I've never tried chestnut soup, always seemed like it would be more complicated that this. Have you ever made it using roasted chestnuts? (I have a batch of chestnuts from Ma Salty's local forest in the freezer). Hope you get a break from the events whirl soon!

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  4. What a fab sounding soup! Perfect for supper one evening this week!

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  5. This sounds really good. I really like chestnuts, but we don't get them around here much, but I'll look for the chestnut puree. The rich color of this soup is really lovely.

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  6. you used chestnuts and chestnut mushrooms together too!! this looks yum!

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  7. I will go to Google to see if I can learn what chestnut mushrooms are. Peter used to make chestnut soup. I was never crazy about it but would try it again. My tastes have matured over the years (even if my brain has not).

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  8. Your post has reminded me that I must go down to the end of our road sometime and see if I can find some chestnuts for our Christmas Dinner. We traditionally mix some in with our Brussels Sprouts, which is a great combination.

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  9. This post rings a bell Dom- yep, that'll be me drunkenly singing at the top of my voice, from the top of the (top) table: 'Allllll I wannnnnt for Christmasssss....' at these kind of events... I too end up making a 'Sunday soup' each Sunday- a healthly warming bit of veg before the start of another hectic Christmassy week... Cheers for the inspiration Dom.

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  10. what a great soup!!! I'm already torturing my mother with chestnuts in the sprouts and stuffing this year...but will bookmark to try when she's not here! this totally sounds like my kind of soup :)

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  11. That looks utterly delicious, I really must try making chestnut soup one of these days!

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  12. I ADORE Chestnut soup and that looks fabulous.....as for canapes, I can inhale them and then I suffer for it, so I know how you feel!

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  13. Now I have not yet used chestnuts in a soup. So, I must try it and fill the house with as many chestnut dishes as possible over the next couple of weeks! X

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  14. So comforting and yummy! I never tried chestnut in a soup, this is a great recipe to try out..

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  15. Ah I love chestnut soup - I made it for Christmas Eve a couple of years ago - so cosy! Reading your post has made me want to try it again - brilliant!

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  16. The soup looks divine!! Hope things start to slow down for you soon!

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  17. Gosh, hope your clients and their guests are a little nicer to you over the next couple of weeks...and I promise not to sing Mariah Carey on the Karaoke! I'm not a huge fan of chestnuts (esp peeling them) they are not really part of the Scottish tradition, but your soup looks very appealing and I'm sure all the more so when you come home tired. Hugs for you.

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  18. That eventing lark doesn't sound much fun! The soup does though. Just wondering how you would feel, if I pitched up at your place in time for Christmas dinner ;-)

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  19. Sounds delicious.

    I always loved when my parents had dinner parties - we'd be allowed to come down to say hello in our new pajamas - I can still remember which of their friends brought us sweets!!!!!!

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  20. That sounds good Dom! I'm looking for a nice soup for Boxing day :-))

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  21. I made this on Tuesday night when I had some friends round for supper - it was delicious - so easy, so festive, so yummy! Thanks for sharing! Rx

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