There’s something beautiful about roasting chestnuts on an open fire.
As a little girl my Nonna would place them in the hot coals of their open fire place and we would all sit around eating hot chestnuts. Unfortunately the fire place no longer exists but that doesn’t mean I couldn’t have delicious roasted chestnuts or even better roasted chestnut soup!
These delicious chestnuts from Lamanna Supermarket where literally the size of the palm of my hand and seriously delicious! The flavour was so intense that I actually couldn’t stop eating them that I had to buy more! The trick for the perfect roasted chestnuts are to soak them in warm water prior to roasting. This will loosen the shell and will be much easier to peel. You want to do this a little while after they come out of the oven as once cooled it’s extremely hard to remove the shell.
If you’re into a more silky smooth soup I suggest using a blender to create that smooth texture. I used a hand mixture as I wanted to create a thicker soup which I could still taste little bits of chestnuts. Totally your preference as there is not right or wrong. It’s delicious either way!
This is a very simple recipe that you can make on a cold and rainy night in. Served with delicious crunchy bread, this is a perfect dinner to cure those winter blues!
Details of Lamanna Supermarket
10 English Street, Essendon Fields Victoria 3041
Roasted Chestnut Soup
1 litre chicken stock
1 large leek, bottom and top removed and sliced
2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
¼ cup cream
2 cloves garlic
4 slices of pancetta
2 tbsp. olive oil
Handful of fresh thyme
Salt & Pepper
Soak the chestnuts in a bowl full of warm water for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180c. Drain the chestnuts and score them with an ‘X’ and place them in a roasting tray. Roast for 25 – 30 minutes. Once out of the oven, peel the skins off and set aside.
In a large saucepan on medium heat, cook the pancetta until crispy brown, about 6-8 minutes. Drain on a paper towel to drain any excess oil. Set aside.
In the same saucepan, add the oil, butter and garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the leek and cook for a further 6-8 minutes or until leeks have soften.
Add the potatoes and chestnuts and mix well. Cook for a further 1-2 minutes.
Reduce to a low heat, add the chicken stock, thyme and season with salt and pepper. Cook on low heat for another 25 minutes or until the potatoes have soften. Turn heat off.
Purée the soup using a hand mixer and slowly adding the cream little by little.
Serve with crispy pancetta, extra dollop of cream and crusty bread.