Chestnut and Celery Soup

  • Active Time 15m
  • Total Time 1h 40m

Serves 6-8

During the winter months, hot roasted chestnuts are often sold by vendors on the boulevards of Paris. The meaty nut is a popular ingredient in bistros around France, either fresh or as a canned purée. This rich soup -- combining chestnut purée with celery, potato and cream -- is a popular first course for Christmastime luncheons and New Year’s celebrations.


  • 2 cups prepared unsweetened chestnut puree or 1 1/2 pound fresh chestnuts
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 white onions, chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
  • 1 large russet potato, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground white pepper

Companion recipe: Chicken Stock


If you are using prepared chestnut purée, set aside. If you are using fresh chestnuts, preheat an oven to 400 degrees F.

Using a sharp knife, cut an X on the flat side of each chestnut. Spread the chestnuts in a shallow pan and roast until the nuts feel tender when pressed and the shells have curled where cut, about 25-30 minutes. Remove from the oven and, using a small, sharp knife, remove the shells and the furry skin directly under them. (The nuts peel easiest when still warm.) Set aside.

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and celery and sauté until golden brown, about 5 minutes.

Add the chestnut purée or roasted chestnuts, potato, chicken stock and cream. Stir well and bring to a boil. Add the salt and white pepper, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, until the soup thickens slightly, about 1 hour.

Working in batches, transfer the soup to a blender and blend on high speed until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute.

Return the soup to the saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Ladle into warmed bowls and serve immediately.

NOTE: Nutrition facts for this recipe are for the entire batch of soup. Nutrition facts will vary depending on the size per serving.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Weldon Owen. All rights reserved.

RecID 669

nutrition information per serving

2729 calories; 298g total fat; 827mg cholesterol; 1079mg sodium; 16g carbohydrates; 3g fiber; 10g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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