Chestnut and Chorizo Soup Recipe

Soupe de Châtaigne au Chorizo

[Chestnut and Chorizo Soup]

This recipe comes from the book “Mes Petits Plats Préférés”, by Trish Deseine. She is definitely one of my favorite cookbook authors : her recipes are simple but inventive, and I love her personal and friendly voice. She is also the author of my all-time fave cookbook “Je veux du chocolat!”, which I’ve mentioned in the past. I recently met her at the signing of her latest book, titled “J’en veux encore”, and was delighted to see that she is as open and friendly in real life as her books lead you to believe.

I was leafing through that book looking for something else when this recipe jumped at me. It sounded like the perfect way to use the chorizo we bought in Spain, as well as the chestnuts that had been sitting in my freezer for a while.

Maxence and I have embarked on an ambitious Empty-The-Freezer Project, as it is in dire need of defrosting. Surprisingly, it turns out to be a lot of fun, as we work our way through its contents (you wouldn’t believe the amount of things we had in there), trying to find the most efficient ways to use things up. We regularly update each other on our progress : “ETF Project status report. I killed the asparagus and the steamed dumplings”. “Copy that”, replies the other. We may be watching 24 a little too intensively lately.

Warm and fuzzy feeling #1 : I had everything on hand to make this soup, a personal satisfaction beyond words. The original recipe for this soup calls for carrots, but I used turnips instead as I had some cute young ones on hand. I also decided to add some parsley for color and flavor.

Warm and fuzzy feeling #2 : The soup turned out fantastic. Not very spring-like, but in Paris the summer reaches us in progressive waves, with promising sunny days followed by chilly setbacks, and this is the perfect soup for a low tide evening. The soft sweetness of the chestnuts and turnips is a great match for the salty and spicy chorizo. The soup is a beautiful orange color (the use of carrots in place of turnips would accentuate that even more) with flecks of green. And I left it chunky, because nothing can quite compare to the pleasure of biting into a nice big piece of chestnut. Except maybe biting into a nice big piece of chorizo.

Soupe de Châtaigne au Chorizo

– 150 g chorizo (a spicy dry sausage from Spain)
– 300 g young turnips
– 1 celery stalk
– 1 onion
– 2 cloves garlic
– a 470 g can of whole peeled tomatoes
– 300 g peeled chestnuts, raw or cooked
– 1 L (4 C) boiling water
– 8 stalks of fresh flat-leaf parsley
– salt, pepper
– olive oil

(Serves 4.)

Peel and chop the onion and the garlic cloves. Scrub, trim and slice the turnips. Rinse and chop the celery stalk. Remove the chorizo’s outer skin and cut the chorizo in slices.

Heat some olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the garlic, onion, chorizo, turnips and celery. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook for about 15 minutes over medium heat, stirring from time to time, until the vegetables are softened and slightly caramelized.

Add in the contents of the can of tomatoes, juice included. Crush the whole tomatoes a little with a wooden spoon. If you are using raw chestnuts, add them now. Cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Pour in the hot water. If you are using cooked chestnuts, add them now. Cover and let simmer for another 15 minutes.

Rinse and chop the parsley leaves. Stir half of it into the soup. Purée the soup with a hand blender or in a food processor until you reach the desired consistency (chunky is good for this soup). Add in more water if needed, and adjust the seasoning.

Ladle warm soup into bowls and sprinkle with the remaining parsley. Serve with slices of country bread.

Recipe adapted from “Mes Petits Plats Préférés” by Trish Deseine.

  • Karen

    Oh thank goodness! For a few minutes I thought your blog was lost, couldn’t load even if I refreshed again and again. *Sigh* :)

  • Jackie D

    Oh, wow, this sounds *amazing*! I love, love, love chorizo, and since you’ve turned me on to the pleasures of the chestnut, I am always on the lookout for good marron recipes! I will definitely have to try this one ASAP.

  • Maryanne

    Not only does the soup sound delicious but your descriptions are divine. I particularly love “low tide evening”, a description that fits the weather trend Boston seems to be in this week. Good for my garden but no sun…Anyway, I look forward to my little time in Paris each day! Bon Soir.

  • Mary

    Your recipe sounds like it would have
    fit in nicely at the Spanish Royal Wedding
    Banquet held last Saturday in a
    very rainy Madrid.

  • chika

    Great job, Clotilde – it looks beautiful! And I’d absolutely agree to you in that chunky pieces would make it even more fun to eat your bowl of soup :-)

    BTW – I just tried Trish Deseine’s chicken & leek crumble (although I used what I had in my fridge, i.e. chicken, sweet onions, courgettes, mushrooms, and celery – typical!) I am really glad I got that book, everything’s turned out real good – thanks for introducing such a lovely book, Clotilde!
    I have also tried her Melt-in-your-mouth chocolate cake which, too, I found in here. That was, I’d say, too dangerous… I wish I didn’t know the ingredients :-p

  • clotilde

    Karen – Yes, our server has been through a few stormy days, but it should be nice and stable now. (Famous last words! :)

    Jackie – I’m convinced you would love this. Extremely satisfying too!

    Maryanne – Thanks for noticing that bit, I’m glad it rang true to you!

    Mary – Oh you are really too kind! Wonder what they served at this banquet, do you know?

    Chika – Oh I love savory crumbles. I’ve made a salmon and leek one, but that was before I got her book. I’ll have to compare the two recipes! And I do agree with you, the MIYM chocolate should be outlawed, really.

  • Jessica

    This recipe/meal was so delicious. Perfect Fall meal. Thank you for all your posts and food inspiration!

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