6 Tbsp unsalted butter
12 oz fresh chestnuts, cooked, peeled (1 lb fresh)
1 carrot, peeled and sliced
1 parsnip, peeled and sliced (optional)
1 C celery, finely chopped
6 C chicken or vegetable broth
1/4 C Madeira wine
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 sprigs parsley, fresh finely chopped
Pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste
1/4 C sour cream or cream fraiche
Direction to Prepare the Fresh Chestnuts
Rinse the fresh chestnuts in a colander with cool water.
Use a heavy large heavy knife to cut the fresh chestnuts in half. Carefully, place the nuts in a pan of boiling water and cook 8 minutes. Remove them from the pan and place in a bowl of ice water. The ice water chills the nuts quickly and helps release the shell and the inner skin (pellicle) from the chestnut. Remove the shell with a chestnut knife or paring knife and peel off the pellicle.
(Use these prepared fresh chestnuts same day to make Harrison’s Fresh Chestnut Soup or store them in a sealed container in the refrigerator for a week or in the freezer for several months.)
Directions to Prepare the Soup
Sauté the fresh chestnuts in 3 Tbsp butter over medium heat until heated through (about 5 minutes). Set aside.
In a large saucepan, melt the remaining butter and sauté the sliced carrots, parsnips and celery until tender (about 7 minutes). Add the stock, prepared fresh chestnuts and wine. Bring to a boil, then simmer 30 minutes; season with a pinch of nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste. Puree the soup with an immersion blender, blender or food processor. Reheat as needed before serving. Garnish with parsley, cayenne pepper to taste and sour cream or cream fraiche.