This smooth, rich-tasting chestnut soup makes a great winter night treat. Serve in hot bowls, swirl some cream over the top and sprinkle with chopped parsley and pepper.
- 500g (1lb) fresh chestnuts, or 2 x 200g packs whole peeled chestnuts (we used Merchant Gourmet)
- 2 chicken or vegetable stock cubes
- 1 small potato (about 100g/3½oz), peeled and grated
- A bunch of herbs (bay, parsley and thyme), optional
- To serve
- 4 tablespoons double cream, lightly whipped
- Chopped fresh parsley
- Freshly ground black pepper
If using fresh chestnuts, boil them in unsalted water for half an hour. Cool them in cold water until you can handle them easily, and skin them.
Bring 1.25 litres (2 pints) water to the boil, add the stock cubes, chestnuts, grated potato and herbs, if you have them. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 25 mins, until chestnuts are softened.
Take out herbs. Use a stick blender to purée mixture until smooth. (Or put in a food processor or through a sieve.)
Reheat the soup, if necessary, and thicken with cornflour only if you think it needs it.. Season well. Serve in hot bowls, zigzag some cream over the top and sprinkle with chopped parsley and pepper.
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Add a knob of butter instead of cream, if you like.