This Chestnut Soup is now a big star at my house and beyond, and not just on Passover but all year round.
Hard to believe my chestnut soup was a product of totally “unplanned parenthood”, just from trying to mix and match some goodies at the end of last year’s Passover. I poked around in the refrigerator to see what we’ve got. I thought to myself, so close to Passover’s Last Days, now is a good time for some off-the-cuff treat. I saw some dark-fried onions in a little container, a head of celery root, a head of fennel, fresh tarragon, fresh thyme, lots of roasted chestnuts (I just stole a few bags from the box I always have on hand for my granddaughter Chaya Rachel who adores them), port wine.
Take a look at my Chestnut soup recipe:
Not a solitary potato in sight. And you thought Passover food was a boring potato-and-egg party!
Throw them all together, and you get pure seduction. Chestnuts…. Chestnuts… Chestnut Soup! Bingo, I knew just what to do! I made a pot of fennel chestnut soup which, besides for the initial step of frying the onions dark, consisted of “all aboard”, and creamed it: Outrageous, with a distinct French flair. And the best part, as always, my chestnut soup is 100% vegetarian and natural. The wonderful vegetarian soup ingredients will, as always, speak for themselves. Gluten-Free without even trying!
The fresh herbs here will make a huge difference in this chestnut soup, and are easy to find everywhere.
Buy your chestnuts peeled, roasted, vacuum-packed, all natural and inexpensive in any good supermarket. Lots of fabulous Israeli brands make them: Golan, Galil, etc….
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 2 large onions, cut in 8
- 3 quarts (12 cups) water
- 1 large head celery root, cut in cubes
- 1 large head fennel, cut in cubes
- Store-bought dry-roasted peeled chestnuts, 1 pound total
- 1 large sprig rosemary, whole
- 1 large sprig tarragon, whole
- 1 cup port wine or sweet vermouth (liquor stores, no supermarket cooking wine ever)
- 2 teaspoons turmeric
- Salt to taste
- Ground pepper to taste
Heat the oil in a wide broad bottom pot. In a food processor, coarsely grind the onions, and add them to the pot. Reduce the flame to medium high, and fry the onions until very dark, stirring occasionally to avoid scorching. This step will take about 20 minutes. Add all but last remaining ingredient and bring to a boil. reduce the flame to medium and cook, covered, 30 minutes. Take out the rosemary sprig and the tarragon sprig and discard. Cream the soup with an immersion blender until perfectly smooth. add ground pepper to taste. Adjust texture and seasonings. Serve hot. Makes a good dozen servings.