I've been wanting to make chestnut soup for a couple of years now but I was waiting for the right occasion. I actually ended up forgetting about my intention to make the soup until I was at Costco last week and saw roasted chestnuts! I immediately texted my mom asking her to pick up chestnuts so that I could make the soup for Thanksgiving dinner once I got home. I ended up making the soup the day before, up until the point of adding half and half, and then added the half and half when I reheated it for our dinner and that worked really well! I'd almost recommend it if you're planning on entertaining guests- then you can time things better because all you have to do is reheat!

chestnut soup

2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups rinsed and thinly sliced leeks (the white and tender green parts)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon rosemary
2 teaspoons salt
3-4 cups chopped potatoes
2 cups whole chestnuts (or, 1 1/2 cups roasted and peeled chestnuts)
2 bay leaves
5 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 cups half and half

To roast the chestnuts, cut the end of each chestnut off with a sharp knife so that the chestnut doesn't explode when heated. Roast over medium heat for 20-25 minutes, moving the chestnuts frequently with a wooden spoon until the chestnuts brown a little bit. Remove from the heat and let cool. Then peel back the shell with your hands while you begin to prepare the soup. In a soup pot, warm the butter and olive oil on medium low heat. Add the sliced leeks and sauté until soft, about 10 minutes. Add the minced garlic and sauté for another three minutes. Stir in the nutmeg, rosemary, and salt. Add the chopped potatoes, chestnuts, and bay leaves and stir to coat with the leek mixture. Pour in the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Then lower the heat and let simmer for 45 minutes. Using an immersion blender, remove roughly a cup at a time and purée the soup until homogenous. Pour puréed soup back into the soup pot. At this point you can store the soup overnight if you'd like and pick up from here before serving. Otherwise, proceed to add the half and half and boil to your desired thickness. Salt to taste.

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