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Sep 30, 2010 07:26 AM

Has anyone made Celery Root-Chestnut Soup?

I saw this interesting recipe in the Millenium cookbook and am curious to try it. Wondering if anyone else already has.

Also, not sure where to buy dried chestnuts...

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  1. I made this years ago at a restaurant I worked in; we used canned chestnuts rather than dried, and I think maybe the canned variety are easier to locate. The soup was served in the fall/winter and was pretty popular, I liked it particularly. It was a simple soup of sweated leeks, a small amount of carrot dice, celery root, chestnuts, a few potatoes for body, chicken stock, heavy cream and a bit of butter, with thyme and simmered until tender and pureed in a blender. Probably had alcohol in it as well but I don't remember now, most likely white wine.

    If you have a moment, can you post a paraphrased version of your recipe? Is that the recipe containing miso, tarragon and nutmeg, among other ingredients, that I've seen on the web? Thanks.

    1. I make chestnut soup all the time in the fall and winter. You can get dried chestnuts in Chinese groceries (look where they keep the nuts and seeds, they come in clear plastic bags). Since they've become available I've been using the cooked chestnuts in pouches from Chinese stores.
      I haven't put any celeriac in mine just because I don't normally have it bumping around.
      1 onion, 1 carrot, 1 stalk celery, 1 clove garlic, chopped and sautéed in butter; add the chestnuts (1-2 pouches or about a cup of the dried), enough water or stock to cover plus an inch (if cooked chestnuts, more if dried), a glug of white wine or vermouth, a bay leaf and a stalk or two of thyme, cook until chestnuts are soft and falling apart; take out thyme and bay, purée in blender or food processor, put through sieve, add a cup of heavy cream, reheat, add a few scrapes of nutmeg and a tb or so of Cognac. A lovely start to dinner. It's what's in the soup cup in front of my naughty Liam in my avatar.

      1. I made Daniel Bouloud's chestnut, celery root, apple soup years ago. I recall it was wonderful and I had used jarred chestnuts. The recipe is still on the restaurant's website.

        10 Replies
        1. re: JanRan

          Wow, that soup looks great. I am going to try it this weekend, sans the heavy cream (I will find a substitute - almond milk, maybe?)

          In the meantime, I made butternut squash and celery root soup - here is the recipe.. And you can see the amazing color of this soup here:

          1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed (about 6 cups


          1 celery root, peeled and cubed (about 3 cups

          2-3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

          1 large onion, chopped

          ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

          4 or 5 fresh sage leaves

          1 cup dry white wine

          7 cups vegetable stock

          Salt and pepper to taste

          Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Toss the squash and celery root with a tablespoon or two of olive oil and a bit of salt and pepper. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet (or two). Roast until tender and starting to brown, about 25 minutes.

          Heat the remaining olive oil in a large saucepan or dutch oven. Saute onions, red pepper flakes and sage until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the wine and cook until reduced by half. Add the stock and roasted vegetables and simmer for 10 minutes. Let cool slightly and puree thoroughly in a food processor or blender. Season to taste with pepper, and additional salt if necessary. Return to the pot to reheat, and serve.

          1. re: JanRan

            I'm a bit perplexed by one aspect of the recipe: the instruction to put it through a fine-mesh strainer. I did this and ended up straining out a lot of the solids, leaving me with a soup that's much thinner than I expected. Was this your experience?

            1. re: JonTich

              Next time squish as much as possible of that stuff through the sieve with a wooden spoon or silicone spatula - the sieve is only supposed to retain fibers and stuff that would be unpleasant to eat. It's not the same thing as straining bones out of stock.

              1. re: buttertart

                Thanks for that. I did a lot of squishing but still a great deal of stuff remained behind. I'm curious what result Boulud really wanted. Because he does mention that there should be about 2 quarts of soup, which is the amount of chicken broth you start with, exclusive of all the other ingredients.

                1. re: JonTich

                  Is that what you came up with? I haven't seen that particular recipe.

                    1. re: JonTich

                      You might try cooking it longer, I would let something like this go an hour or more myself. Most of that should go through the sieve if soft enough. I also use the blender and then the sieve to make it easier.

                      1. re: buttertart

                        Cooking longer might have helped. I did do the blender thing, but no luck. Well, we'll see how it tastes!

                        1. re: JonTich

                          Should be good, that's a nice recipe.

          2. Celeriac and chestnut soup is one of my regular autumn and winter ones. I usually add bacon as well, as well as onion of course. Pretty much a standard soup making process - I use ham stock if I have it in the freezer, or, otherwise veggie stock form bouillon powder.

            I think it works best as a smooth, rather than chunky, soup, so always blitz it in the blender. I normally make enough to freeze away several portions.

            I've never had a problem finding tinned or packet "ready to use" chestnuts in the supermarket (usually the Merchant Gourmet brand) but, of course, availability may differ depending on where in the world you are.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Harters

              omg, this must be wonderful with ham stock. As I was reading the various takes on it, I thought about crispy proscuito crumbles, but I love ham stock in soups. Thanks for that great tip sir~

              1. re: chef chicklet

                Oooh, now there's an idea you've given me. I include bacon in the soup but the idea of a few crisply fried slivers as a garnish sounds good.