Soupe de Châtaigne au Chorizo
This recipe comes from Trish Deseine’s book Mes Petits Plats Préférés, and 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.
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and chopped
- 150 grams (5 1/4 ounces) Spanish chorizo, skin removed, sliced
- 300 grams (10 1/2 ounces) carrots or young turnips, sliced
- 1 stalk celery, sliced
- One 470-gram (1 pound) can of whole peeled tomatoes
- 300 grams (10 1/2 ounces) peeled chestnuts, raw or cooked (no need to thaw if frozen)
- Fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- Fine sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Olive oil
- Heat a glug of olive oil in a soup pot. Add the garlic, onion, chorizo, carrots, and celery. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook over medium heat for 15 minutes, stirring from time to time, until the vegetables are softened and slightly caramelized.
- Add in the tomatoes, juice included, crushing the tomatoes with a wooden spoon. If you are using raw chestnuts, add them now. Cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Pour 1 litre (4 cups) hot water. If you are using cooked chestnuts, add them now. Cover and simmer for another 15 minutes.
- Stir half of the parsley into the soup. Purée the soup with an immersion blender or food processor until you reach the desired consistency (chunky is good for this soup). Add in more water as needed. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
- Ladle the soup into bowls and sprinkle with the remaining parsley. Serve with crusty bread.