This rich and intense French soup is the perfect recipe for Autumn. The flavours of the chestnuts and the perfume of the hazelnut oil make this an enticing stater for a dinner party.
- 30 g butter
- 3 tbsp hazelnut oil, plus extra to serve
- 150 g carrot, grated
- 150 g celery, grated
- 150 g onions, finely diced
- 1 kg chestnuts, dried or peeled (see note below)
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 500 ml chicken stock
- 250 ml milk
- 4 potatoes, peeled and quartered
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
In a large saucepan place the butter, hazelnut oil, carrot, celery and onion and sauté over medium heat until softened.
Once vegetables are soft, add chestnuts and garlic.
Pour chicken stock and milk into the pot, adding the potatoes, bay and thyme. Bring to a boil and simmer gently for 1 hour.
Remove the bay and thyme stalks. Puree the soup using a hand held stick blender. Pass the mixture through a strainer.
Serve with a little drizzle of hazelnut oil over the top of the soup with a piece of oven toasted bread.
If using dried chestnuts, soak in hot water for one hour prior to use.