Recipe of the Week: Chestnut Soup

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This soup was a best-seller! Creamy, savory and a bit sweet, this easy-to-prepare soup is satisfying on any fall or winter day! It’s a great soup to serve at a holiday party or just on a weeknight for your family.

3 tablespoons Earth Balance or olive oil

2 shallots, thinly sliced; or a 1/3 cup chopped yellow onion

1 large carrot, chopped (about 1 cup)

½ cup peeled and chopped celeriac

2 ½ cups chopped mixed mushrooms (any combination of button, cremini, Portobello, shiitake, oyster, etc), tough stems and/or gills removed

2 – 2 ½ cups roasted chestnuts; shells removed and coarsely chopped (I buy them already roasted and shelled, so simple!)

5 cups vegetable stock

¼ cup cognac or brandy

1 bay leaf

2 sprigs of fresh sage, leaves removed and chopped

2 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves removed

1 cup cashew cream*

Salt and Pepper to taste

To a heavy bottom soup pot over medium heat, add 1 tbsp Earth Balance (or olive oil, if using). Saute the shallots, carrots and celeriac until soft, about 10 minutes. Remove from pot with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Add remaining Earth Balance or oil. Saute the mushrooms and chestnuts until mushrooms have softened a bit, about 5 minutes.

Add about ¼ cup veg broth to the pot, return the veggies to the pot and stir to combine. Pour in the cognac and cook for a couple of minutes to allow the alcohol to burn off.

Add the herbs and the rest of the broth and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes.

With an immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth. You can also do this in couple batches in a blender. Stir in the cashew cream and add salt and pepper to taste.

Keep warm on the stove at the lowest setting, or in a warm oven. If the heat of the stove is too hot, the soup will thicken and the bottom may char. Serve with a simple salad and a loaf of crusty bread.

*Cashew Cream is super simple! Soak 1/2 cup of raw cashews overnight (or all day before you use them). Blend on high with 1 cup of water until smooth