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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Chestnut Soup With Shallot-Thyme Butter

JAN 17, 1993

It's easy to go nutty this time of the year when hazelnuts, almonds, walnuts, pecans and chestnuts fill produce bins in the supermarket.

Nuts are to soup what flour is to sauce. They thicken and they add texture. The best part is each nut's flavor can transform a pretty good soup into a sublime creation with depth and character, two attributes that rise above a mere nuttiness.



2 pounds (or two 10.5-ounce jars shelled) chestnuts
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
2 shallots, minced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
2 1/2 quarts (10 cups) chicken stock
1/4 cup heavy (whipping) cream
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
1 shallot, minced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, or 2 teaspoons dried
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley


If using fresh chestnuts, slit chestnuts and drop in saucepan of boiling water. Cook 10 minutes; drain and run cold water over to cool. Peel and coarsely chop.

For the soup: Melt butter in a heavy stock pot and saute shallots. Stir in thyme, mustard and chestnuts. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil. Cook until chestnuts are very tender, 30 to 45 minutes. Remove chestnuts with a slotted spoon and puree with some of the liquid. Return to the pot. Stir in cream.

For the Shallot-Thyme Butter: Combine the 4 tablespoons of butter with the minced shallot and thyme in a food processor and pulse to mix thoroughly. Add parsley and pulse to mix well. Taste for seasoning, adding salt and pepper to taste.

To serve, ladle soup into bowls and swirl in a dollop of Shallot-Thyme Butter.


From Mendocino, Calif., food writer and cooking teacher Heidi Cusick.

Tested by The Washington Post.

Nutritional Facts
Calories per serving: 353
% Daily Values*
Total Fat: 12g 18%
Saturated Fat: 8g 40%
Cholesterol: 33mg 11%
Sodium: 803mg 33%
Total Carbohydrates: 53g 18%
Dietary Fiber: 0g 0%
Sugar: n/a
Protein: 6g

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