As the autumn weather arrives & the leaves begin to change colour, I always crave a warm bowl of homemade soup. This traditional French soup features roasted chestnuts as the base, which gives the soup a sweet & nutty flavour profile. Creamy Chestnut Soup also known as Soupe Aux Marrons is a staple this time of year.
You can use freshly roasted chestnuts (which are in an abundance from October to December) or store-bought pre-roasted chestnuts (which can often be found in the produce section). This soup makes for a wonderful appetizer for any Thanksgiving celebration. It takes under an hour to made & can be made one to two days in advance.
As presentation is extra important around the holidays, I like to garnish the soup with a dollop of sour cream, a sprinkle of crispy bacon, grated nutmeg & sliced chives. The bacon adds texture to an otherwise creamy soup & the chives add a hit of freshness.
To adjust the recipe to be vegetarian-friendly, simply eliminate the bacon & replace the bacon fat with unsalted butter. The chicken stock can also be substituted for a low sodium vegetable stock.
Happy October! Cheers to sweater weather & soup season.
French Chestnut Soup
- 50 grams of bacon, sliced
- 2 cloves of garlic, sliced
- 2 shallots, diced
- 1 leek, split lengthwise & sliced
- 2 stalks of celery, diced
- 1 carrot, peeled & diced
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 sprigs of thyme
- Salt & cracked black pepper, to taste
- 400 grams whole roasted chestnuts
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- Sour cream, for serving
- Sliced chives, for serving
- Grated nutmeg, for serving
- In a heavy bottom pot over medium heat add the bacon. Continuously stirring, cook until crispy. Remove using a slotted spoon & transfer to a paper towel lined plate. Reserve until ready to serve.
- To the same skillet add the garlic, shallots, leek, celery, carrot, bay leaf, thyme, salt & pepper. Cook until the vegetables begin to soften, about 10 minutes.
- Add the chestnuts & chicken broth. Bring to a boil & reduce to a gentle simmer. Cover with the lid & continue cooking until the vegetables have softened, about 30 minutes.
- Remove from heat. Using an immersion blender puree the soup until smooth. Just before serving add the heavy cream.
- Transfer to a soup bowl. Garnish with a dollop of sour cream, sliced chives, grated nutmeg & a sprinkle of crispy bacon.