We have included some of our favourite recipes here. Linda is sugar and wheat intolerant, so our recipes have been formulated to suit those intolerances. Chestnuts are ideal for gluten intolerance as they are gluten free and can create gluten free dishes. We like to keep a bowl of peeled and roasted chestnuts in the fridge so we can add them to our favourite meals or just snack on them with our favourite drink in the evening.
The Pumpkin and Chestnut Soup is our favourite, and the Chestnut and Chorizo soup is the favourite recipe of the pharmacist in our lovely little village of Nannup.
Chestnut and Bacon Soup
A simple puréed soup, known as velouté in French, is the perfect way to whet the appetite and take the edge off hunger without overfilling your guests’ bellies before the big feast. Here, chestnuts make an earthy and seasonal soup that can be made well ahead of time. Serve in shallow bowls, or even teacups or shot glasses, while guests are still milling around.
Serves 8, Preparation 30 minutes, Total Time 1 hour
• 4 slices Chestnut Brae chestnut fed bacon, diced (about 120gm)
• 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
• 1 carrot, sliced
• 1 celery stalk, sliced
• 1 small leek (white and light-green parts only), split lengthwise and sliced (about 1 cup)
• 2 small shallots, roughly chopped (about 1/2 cup)
• Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 5 cups chicken stock, (Home made if you have it)
• 400grams whole peeled and roasted Chestnut Brae chestnuts
• 1/2 cup heavy cream
• Crème fraîche (or Greek Yoghurt), snipped chives, and grated nutmeg, for garnish
- In a large saucepan over medium heat, cook bacon until rendered and crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer bacon to a paper towel–lined plate. Pour off all but 1 teaspoon of the fat. In the same saucepan, melt the butter, and add the carrot, celery, leek, and shallots. Season with salt and pepper. Cook over medium-low heat until softened and golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes.
- Add stock and chestnuts to the saucepan. Bring to a simmer, partially cover, and cook until all the ingredients are soft, about 30 minutes. Let cool slightly, and purée in batches in a blender until very smooth. Return to saucepan, add the cream, and heat thoroughly, adding stock to thin if needed. (A spoon should not leave a trail on the surface of the soup.)
- Season with salt and pepper and ladle into warmed shallow bowls. Garnish with the reserved bacon, a dab of crème fraîche (or Greek yoghurt), chives, and a pinch of nutmeg.
Chestnut and Celery Soup with Parsley Cream
• 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
• 1 large onion, finely chopped
• 2 cups chopped celery
• 1 clove garlic, chopped
• 500 g peeled chestnuts, halved
• 1 litre chicken stock
• 1 bay leaf
• 1 cup milk
• salt and pepper to taste
• 1/2 cup cream, whipped
• 2 teaspoons finely chopped flat leaf parsley
- Heat oil in a pan and add onion, celery and garlic. Saute gently for 5 minutes, until vegetables are soft not brown.
- Add the chestnuts, stock and bay leaf and bring to the boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes, or until chestnuts are tender and cool.
- Remove bay leaf and process soup in an electric blender or food processor until smooth.
- Return soup to the rinsed saucepan, add milk and reheat. Adjust seasoning if necessary.
- In separate bowl prepare parsley cream – add parsley to whipped cream.
- Serve soup in heated bowls topped with a spoonful of parsley cream, it will melt over the soup.
Chestnut and Chorizo Soup – Sopa de Castañas
This warm, comforting soup is taken from Moro, The Cookbook by Sam and Sam Clark, published by Ebury Press
Forests of sweet chestnuts thrive in the mountainous regions of Spain. This recipe combines some of the classic flavours of Spanish cooking to produce a warm, comforting and mildly spicy soup that is synonymous with the onset of autumn.
• 500g/16oz Peeled and Cooked Chestnuts – roughly chopped·
• 4 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 large Spanish onion, diced
• 1 medium carrot, diced
• 1 celery stick, thinly sliced
• 120g/4 oz mild cooking chorizo, cut into 1cm cubes
• 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
• 1 teaspoon ground cumin
• 1 ½ teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
• 2 small dried red chillies, crushed
• 2 tomatoes, fresh or tinned, roughly chopped
• 20 saffron threads, infused in 3-4 tablespoons boiling water
• 1 litre water
• sea salt and black pepper
- In a large saucepan heat the oil over a medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, chorizo and a pinch of salt and fry for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally until everything caramelises and turns quite brown. This gives the soup a wonderfully rich colour and taste. the soup in a food processor, then return to the saucepan and combine.
- Now, add the garlic, cumin, thyme and chilli and cook for 1 or more minutes, followed by the tomato and, after about 32 minutes, the chestnuts. Give everything a good stir and then add the saffron infused liquid, and the water
- Remove from the heat and mash by hand (with a potato masher) until almost smooth but still with a little bit of texture. Season with salt and pepper.
Creamy Cauliflower and Chestnut Soup
Prep 40 mins Cook 50 mins Serves 6
• 500g chestnuts
• 2 tbs olive oil
• 2 leeks, trimmed, halved lengthways and thinly sliced
• 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
• 750g cauliflower florets (about 1 medium cauliflower)
• 6 cups chicken stock
• sour cream and chopped chives, to serve
- Halve chestnuts lengthways through the middle. Place in medium saucepan, cover with cold water and bring to the boil. Gently boil for 15-20 minutes until tender and flesh peels away easily from the shell. Drain.
- While still warm, remove shell and the papery thin skin. Set peeled chestnuts aside.
- Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add leeks and garlic and cook, stirring often, for 4-5 minutes or until leeks soften. Add cauliflower and cook, stirring for 3 minutes.
- Add stock, cover and bring to the boil. Reduce heat, partially cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes or until cauliflower is tender.
- Reserve and roughly chop ½ cup of the chestnuts. Add remaining chestnuts to soup. Cook for 2 minutes.
- Using a stick blender, blend soup until smooth. Gently heat until hot. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Ladle soup into serving bowls. Top with sour cream, chopped reserved chestnuts and chives. Serve.
Pumpkin and Chestnut Soup
Prep 20 minutes Cook 40 minutes
• 1 Fresh pumpkin (1kg)
• 400gm Chestnut Brae Peeled Chestnuts
• 3 cups of fresh chicken or vegetable stock
• ½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
• ½ teaspoon grated mace
• ½ teaspoon ground ginger
• ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
• ½ teaspoon curry powder
• 1 teaspoon sea salt
• 1 cup of coconut milk
• Juice and grated rind of 1 orange
• 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
• ¼ cup honey (optional)
- Heat the olive oil in a large wide-based soup pot over medium heat, add spices cook for 1 minute or until aromatic. Add the pumpkin pieces and peeled chestnuts and stir to coat well in the spice mixture.
- Add the stock and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes or until the pumpkin is soft.
- Use a potato masher to mash together the pumpkin and stock until the soup is almost smooth. Stir the coconut milk through the soup and season with salt and pepper. Add orange juice and rind and honey if using.
- Garnish with sunflower seeds. Serve with warm damper.
NOTES & TIPS
• Reheating: this soup will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. To reheat, place the soup straight from the fridge into a large wide-based saucepan and heat over medium-high heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until heated through.