Sunday, February 21, 2016

chestnut magic before hibernation

Only hibernation can justify me being away, absent, inactive.
Hibernation is a state of inactivity. Inactivity is a state of being absent. Absence is a state of being away and away is a state of not being present.
Even winter is still present, but only by calendar, I am glad I am waking up from a so called winter dream where I got trapped this last month or so. And like in almost any winter dream one must use stored energy. Before entering in this state of 'hibernation' I made and ate this delightful chestnut soup packed with warmth and delicate, sweet and nutty flavor.

360g roasted and peeled chestnuts 
one small potato
1tbsp sunflower oil
1/2 onion
1/2 apple (granny smith, peeled and diced)
150ml milk
1l hot water
salt and white pepper to taste
1-2 tbsp heavy cream to serve with 

In November I was lucky enough to find very good raw chestnuts in a shop. I bought some for roasting to be eaten right away, but rest of the fruits were stored in a freezer. I scored each chestnut beforehand and roasted in a preheated oven on a high heat, 220ÂșC for about 15-20 minutes and while they were still very hot I peeled them. 
For this cream soup I used chestnuts from freezer, roasted chestnuts.
Peel and chop the onion, potato and half of the apple. Cook chopped onions over a moderate heat in a large pan with a tablespoon of oil. When the onion is soft and translucent add the chestnuts. Let them cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add diced apple and potato and pour in milk and hot water. Bring everything to boil, then lower the heat to a gentle simmer and let the soup cook for about 30 minutes.  
Blend the soup in a blender or food processor. Strain the soup through a strainer for smoother texture if desired and season with salt and white pepper. 
Divide the soup between bowls and serve or add few drops of heavy cream to each bowl for some extra creaminess. 

A rich soup brimming with flavour is more than a meal in itself.