Roasted parsnip and chestnut soup

This delicious thick soup is a combination of seasonal ingredients, perfect for those crisp autumnal days. 

25/30 chestnuts
750ml of vegetable stock
5 medium sized parsnips, peeled and cut into rounds
50 ml pouring cream
1 tbsp olive oil or a knob of butter
1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
1 medium sized potato, peeled and cut into chunks
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat your oven to 2200C.

2. Put the parsnip rounds into and roasting tray, top with tbsp of the olive oil or butter and then pop the tray into the oven and roast for 30 minutes until softened.

3. Next, score the chestnuts with a little cross, put them onto a baking tray and roast for 20 minutes. When the chestnuts are done, remove them from the oven and allow them to cool for a moment. The shells retain a lot of heat from the oven so if you don’t leave them to cool you risk burning your fingers! However, it is much easier to get the shells off while they’re still warm)

4. Carefully shell the chestnuts, cover them with foil to keep warm and moist and set aside.

5. In a large saucepan, warm a tsp of olive oil (or butter). Sauté the onion and garlic until soft and add your parsnips and potatoes, gently mix all the ingredients together.

6. Pour the stock over the mixture and leave the saucepan (with its lid on) to gently simmer for 15/20 minutes or until the potatoes begin to soften and fall apart in the liquid.

7. Remove the saucepan from the heat and add the cream a bit at a time, stirring after each addition.

8. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve with chunky granary bread.

Tip 1: If you want your soup to be silky smooth then push the mixture through a sieve to get rid of any small lumps – I favor rustic soups so I personally never bother with the sieving.

Tip 2: It’s important to score fresh chestnuts them before putting them in the oven or they are likely to explode when cooked!

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