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Cream of Chestnut Soup (Velouté de Châtaignes)

Cream of Chestnut Soup, or Velouté de Châtaignes, a velvety smooth French soup with wine and herbs, is sublime  in taste, texture, and perfect for a special meal.

Velouté de Châtaignes (Cream of Chestnut Soup)

Velouté de Châtaignes (Cream of Chestnut Soup)

By Sue Lau | Palatable  Pastime

My recipe of the day is for Velouté de Châtaignes (Cream of Chestnut Soup) with Soup Swappers.  Camilla is hosting this month and tasked us to do celebratory soups.

Velouté de Châtaignes (Cream of Chestnut Soup)

Christmas Soups

I like cream soups at Christmastide, and when I saw that one could be made with chestnuts, and it was called Velouté de Châtaignes- oh  my  word that is such a prissy-butt title I just had to do it. Curiosity begs me to wonder how many will stop by just to figure out what it is?

I know I would. Being all nosy and whatnot. Don’t judge! LOL!

What  is Velouté?

Velouté is the French word for velvety. Well that is exactly what you want in a cream soup, right?

More often, velouté describes one of the five “Mother Sauces” (the other  four  being espagnole, tomato, béchamel and hollandaise)  developed by Auguste Escoffier, master of French cuisine.

By rule,  the velouté  will be  made with  stock where the bones have not been roasted, and will include equal parts butter and flour to make a roux.

I’ll be  taking this out further by the addition of  roasted chestnuts (the châtaignes) and serving it as  a first  course.

What Kind of Chestnuts to Use

In  this recipe, I am using packaged chestnuts which I got at Trader Joe’s but you can use jarred ones or roast them yourself. They are not very hard to do and you can find tutorials online.  I’d include those here except I am not  using them fresh.

And the last time I bought fresh ones this late in the season half of them were bad which  really irritated because I needed a set amount and when I went back to buy more they had sold out.

So unless I can get them around Thanksgiving I will use jarred or refrigerated  in  packages so I don’t need to be concerned. I have seen them in  vac-packs too in Asian  stores.

Chinois for Texture

This soup  is strained through  a chinois. Which  is  a conical  strainer. And you don’t exactly “have to”  use it, but it helps. I mean you need it  to strain  the  soup  of  bits  which affect the  texture but perhaps you are satisfied with more rustic.

But you could  also use a normal mesh  strainer, but it  takes a bit longer as the chinois has  it  done in about  one minute flat.

Actually, I  don’t  use my chinois  often, but  I do keep one, but  mine is also  an antique version so  it fits  with my collection (like my hand-cranked version of  what is today’s kitchen-aid mixer) and another pint sized contraption  that  might have been used  to press olives, but uncertain.

Soup Swappers

Velouté de Châtaignes (Cream of Chestnut Soup)

Velouté de Châtaignes (Cream of Chestnut Soup)

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Velouté de Châtaignes

Velouté de Châtaignes (Cream of Chestnut Soup)

Sue Lau
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Course Soup
Cuisine French

Equipment

  • chinois
  • stick blender or other blender

Ingredients
  

  • 5 ounces bacon chopped or cut into lardons
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 leek cleaned and sliced (white and light green parts only)
  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine or chardonnay
  • 1 quart chicken broth
  • 2 (6.5 ounces each) packages peeled and cooked chestnuts
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg

Instructions
 

  • Cook chopped bacon in your soup pot until the fat renders, then add butter, onion, garlic, celery, carrots, leek, marjoram, thyme, salt pepper and bay leaf.
  • Cook until onion softens, then stir in the flour and cook for several minutes, stirring constantly.
  • Add the wine and chicken broth and bring to a boil, continuing to stir and boil one minute.
  • Add chestnuts (reserve a few to chop for a garnish if you like), reduce heat, cover and simmer for thirty minutes.
  • Remove soup from heat, remove bay leaf from soup, and puree with a stick blender or blender.
  • Use a ladle to add soup to a chinois and strain; discard any solids.
  • Return strained soup to the pan and stir in the cream and nutmeg.
  • Heat gently.
  • Serve garnished with finely chopped chestnuts, if you like.

Notes

From the kitchen of palatablepastime.com
Keyword chestnuts, Christmas, cream soup

Velouté de Châtaignes (Cream of Chestnut Soup)

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5 responses

  1. Pingback: Potato Leek Soup with Herbes de Provence

  2. I can’t even begin to think about what this soup must taste like! It sounds good though! One of these days, I really need to try a chestnut! It’s on my bucket list!

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