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!



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