Friday, November 15, 2013

FFWD ~ Chestnut-Pear Soup

FFWD ~ Velvety Chestnut-Pear Soup
Chestnuts have always been a sign of Fall, and the approaching holidays. They bring back wonderful memories of my grandfather, holding a big bag of chestnuts ready to roast. He would cut an X into each one of them with his pocket knife. If I remember correctly, he would then place them on the outside grill. I always loved the sweet, nutty aromas and flavor when done. I also remember my mom and I cutting X's into them, and placing them into the oven to roast. We would be full of anticipation, while we waited for them to be ready to eat. As soon as the skins would start to spread, we would try to grab a few. We would then toss them around like hot potatoes…or hot chestnuts. They were such a treat.  If you wander the streets of NYC in the fall and winter, you will see venders roasting and selling hot roasted chestnuts from their carts. The air around them filled with the heavy, earthy scent of the roasting nuts.  Bringing back memories of holidays past. 

                                      Chestnuts roasting on a street venders cart…                               stock photo    

This week our recipe for French Fridays is Pear and Chestnut soup.  A great pick for this time of year. The allure of a bowl of velvety chestnut soup, topped with some heavy cream, is hard to resist.  I’m sure not everyone met this challenge with the same anticipation, i.e. my husband who asked, what I was making?  Then gave me his look.  You must know the look, every husband has one! The look that said “I don’t think so”.  I knew right away that this was going to be my soup!


This was a great lunch treat…I think I will freeze the rest for Thanksgiving
I could not find whole canned chestnuts in my area. However, I did have a can of unsweetened chestnut puree in my pantry.  I purchased it on my last trip to Eataly. So, we were on! According to Dorie, Pierre Herme doesn’t think that chestnuts stand alone very well.  He finds them bland. I happen to love their nutty, earthy taste. But what do I know?.  He thought they needed something to give them “sex appeal”, hence the pear.  The remaining ingredients for this soup are pretty simple.  Melt butter in a dutch oven and add the chopped onion, celery and leeks.  Cook over low heat till softened.  Then toss in the two chopped pears, thyme or rosemary sprigs. Pour in the broth, add the chestnuts and cook for about forty five minutes. Puree the soup in a blender or food processor, and pour back into the pot to reheat.  Serve with some Crème fraîche or heavy cream.  I added some shredded pear and sunflower seeds to garnish. The chestnut puree worked well.  I really enjoyed this soup, although I’ve been eating it alone for my last three meals.  I guess I could say, “more for me”!  Happy Friday everyone!  

This post participates with French Fridays with Dorie. To see what other Doristas are doing check it out here. The recipe can be found in Dorie’s cookbook, “Around My French Table”.  I could’nt find this exact recipe on-line, however Dorie posted another Chestnut soup on her blog. There is also a half a recipe of the Chestnut-Pear soup here.


Onions, celery, leeks and pears with a few sprigs of rosemary…the beginning of a luscious soup

Garnished with heavy cream, and sunflower seeds 
Yum!

34 comments:

  1. I just love the Rorschach quality of that garnish Kathy. Its amazing really! I thought this was going to be "my soup" too when I told everyone what I was up to but I made everyone try it and now it is 'our soup'. I would easily make this one again. I might even roast chestnuts. I'm hooked.

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  2. Oh yes please! These would be so good to have it during winter.

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  3. YUM! I love the idea of a sunflower seed garnish. And really enjoy hearing about everyone's chestnut memories...we had the ol' bowl of mixed nuts in the living room with the nutcracker. Never chestnuts.

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  4. Lovely presentation. Love the picture of the roasted chestnuts. Glad you enjoyed this soup. Have a great weekend:)

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  5. Unfortunately, Kathy, I don't have chestnut memories like many of you. In Iowa, like Liz, we had a big wooden bowl of mixed nuts and a nutcracker. I feel as if I've had a great chestnut education by reading everyone's post this week. As I wrote in my post, I was prepared not to like it and totally changed my mind. Loved this soup. When will I learn to never underestimate Dorie's good judgment. I think your using the purée gave your soup a prettier color than mine and some of the other Doristas. Everything about your soup and presentation is lovely.

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  6. Very nice post and a lovely presentation of your soup!

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  7. I love chestnuts and for me make me remember my childhood too! All my life my mom and my grand mom make delicious with chestnuts! And this look so delicious:)

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  8. I took offense with the bland comment too… subtle flavor, not bland. Eatlay is the best, I got such great olive oils from there last time I went. We make the x in the chestnuts too, makes it easier to crack them open. Wonderful to hear your memories.

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  9. I love chestnut! Had a soup prepared with apple before and it was creamy and delicious. Yours looks super, Kathy.

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  10. I got the same look from Howard and had the whole pot to myself. I enjoy chestnuts plain too, though with pear made a nice combination. The scent of roasted chestnuts screams cold weather, in a good way.

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  11. Okay, I laughed at Trevor's comment because I thought the same thing. LOL Maybe we should both have been shrinks.

    I've never made chestnut and pear soup but one of my favorites is chicken and chestnut so I know I'll love this.

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  12. I remember when I was working in Manhattan, I loved the aroma of those chestnuts roasting,
    makes you think of the coming holidays. Your soup looks wonderful, I'm glad you enjoyed this recipe.

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  13. What a lovely aromatic soup, chestnuts and pears sounds so warming and delicious!

    Cheers
    CCU

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  14. You make chestnuts sound so much better than I think they really are:) Now I feel like I under appreciated the soup!

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  15. Pretty photos Kathy ! You made the final presentation look so elegant in that lovely china. Definitely holiday worthy indeed. Though you did have me chuckling about your hubby giving it the hairy eyeball. As you wisely assessed- more for you ! My hubby, on the other hand, seems to like just about every single recipe and I tend to wonder if I will ever find one that he won't try (perhaps I need to feed him on other than French Fridays :))

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  16. Your soup looks fabulous! And I so want those lovely roasted chestnuts.

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  17. Wow, I love that this is both filling and light and refreshing at the same time

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  18. Your soup looks so pretty with that splash of cream and garnish of sunflower seeds!

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  19. Kathy, your soup has a wonderful warm, deep brown color - so very seasonal and very elegant - your presentation of this soup is impeccable! I guess we are very lucky to be able to get fresh chestnuts and pre-cooked chestnuts around here. Heavy cream and sunflower seeds seem like such a fabulous garnish too...I think I will make this soup again before all the fresh chestnuts are gone.
    Have a wonderful Sunday, dear Kathy!

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  20. I've never eaten chestnut soup - or chestnuts in any format other than in nut form! This soup is so elegant, I'm thinking I should look up some chestnut puree too.

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  21. Loved your chestnut memories! And this soup really does look perfect for fall! BTW, my husband does that same "I don't think so" look...

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  22. We were the bowl of nuts with the cracker kind of family -but once I discovered chestnuts, I fell in love :-) I like the way you dressed up your soup

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  23. Sometimes I find it hard to believe that with as much as I cook there are still dishes out there I've never tried - this being one of them. This sounds wonderful and so satisfying. I'm saving it to try. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

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  24. I love, love chestnuts and we get many of these from my father's village in which they have a big production. This soup sounds perfect Kathy!

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  25. I really don't do enough with chestnuts other than plain old roasting them! This soup is lovely!

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  26. Your post really makes me want to try freshly roasted chestnuts. I've only ever had them from a package. Maybe I'll pick some up at the store. Your garnish is lovely. I'm glad you enjoyed this one!

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  27. Wow, beautifully captured soup!
    i think i would lovin this since i love roasted chestnut.....
    i think crispy bacon topping made it perfect for my licking!

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  28. Kathy this sounds lovely. My sister in law in Budapest makes a similar soup for Christmas Eve.

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  29. My mouth is watering looking at the finished soup, Kathy. What a fantastic fall recipe. Kudos!

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  30. Beautiful! I love your both Dorie and Fall inspired soup Kathy! Just wanted to drop by and wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving ;)

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  31. I love chestnut soup but I've never tried making it. Like the idea of adding pair, Kathy. Thanks for coming by Luxury Haven! I'm now following you at Pinterest, Bloglovin & Instagram (blackswan65), & would love to have you follow me!

    Be sure to enter in my X'mas draw to Win Flenco Christmas Hampers Worth More Than $1,000! Giveaway is Open to All Worldwide!! See you there!

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