Saturday, December 08, 2012

Elegant Chestnut Soup

Elegant Chestnut Soup
Makes 4 servings

3 cups water chestnuts, roasted and peeled
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
2 1/4 cups water
1 tsp. tamari
1 dash nutmeg, optional
1 Tbsp. oil
1/4 cup celery, chopped
3/4 cup apple juice
1 vegetable bouillon cube, broth OR 1 tsp. chicken-style seasoning

To roast chestnuts: Choose fresh, firm, unwrinkled chestnuts with no signs of mold. On the flat side of each chestnut, make two cuts with a small, sharp knife from one end to the other, making an X. Place the chestnuts, cut side up, on a low baking sheet with a thin layer of water on the bottom. Bake the chestnuts for 20 - 25 minutes at 350 degrees F. until browned and the cuts peel back naturally from the heat. Test one chestnut to check is the "meat" is tender. When tender, remove from oven. Cool only slightly, then peel and enjoy or use in recipes. Some people like to boil the cut chestnuts for easier peeling. 

Prepare chestnuts. Peel off the outer shell and the fuzzy skin before using the inner chestnut meat.

Heat the oil until hot and saute the onion until semi-tender. Add the celery and saute until both are very tender. Blend the water and apple juice with the chestnuts and all the remaining ingredients.* Simmer everything on low to medium heat (do NOT boil) for about 15 - 20 minutes or until hot throughout and the flavors mingle. Enjoy this rich and tantalizing soup with extra chopped or ground nuts as garnish.

Keeps 4 - 6 days refrigerated.

Variations:  Double the vegetable broth and omit tamari if desired. Apple juice can be replaced with 1/2 cup applesauce and an additional 1/4 cup of water.

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