Madeira Chestnut Soup

Madeira Chestnut Soup
  • 8 Tablespoons (1 stick unsalted butter)
  • 4 cups whole chestnuts or 16 ounces of freeze dried chestnut ‘Slices’ – re-hydrated to 32 oz
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and grated or sliced
  • 1 large parsnip, peeled and sliced
  • 1 cup chopped, peeled celery root (Approximately 1/4 of the whole root – store rest in refrigerator)
  • 6 – 7 14ounce cans low sodium chicken broth)
  • 1 to2 cups water (depending on desired finished thickness)
  • 1/2 cup Madeira wine
  • 2 fresh parsley sprigs
  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Sour Cream
  • Cayenne pepper

Melt 4 Tablespoons butter in heavy large skillet over medium heat. If adding whole chestnuts, sauté until heated through, about 5 minutes. Set aside. If using chestnut ‘Slices’ re-hydrate 1 to 1 with boiling water – let set for 15 min to absorb water, then add with chicken stock. Melt remaining 4 Tablespoons butter in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add sliced carrot, parsnip and celery root and sauté until soft, about 7 minutes. Add to stock and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low. Add chestnuts, Madeira wine, parsley, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Simmer 15 minutes. Puree soup in batches in processor (can be prepared 2 days ahead, cover and refrigerate). Transfer soup to a heavy large saucepan. Bring to simmer, stirring frequently. Adjust seasoning. Ladle into bowls. Top each with dollop of sour cream and fresh parsley sprig.