The Party Vegan's Chestnut Bisque Recipe

The Party Vegan's Chestnut Bisque Recipe
Staff Writer
The essential cold summer soup from Spain, gazpacho is made with fresh tomatoes, peppers, and country bread soaked in olive oil.

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

 Gazpacho is a Spanish classic, best made when juicy tomatoes are in season.

This rich velvety soup is a wonderful way to begin this festive meal.  If you can find jarred or frozen peeled chestnuts, it will cut down on your preparation time considerably.  If using fresh chestnuts, see the preparation instructions following in this recipe and plan to prepare them in advance. (Peeled chestnuts are sold at Asian markets at a fraction of the cost in supermarkets.) For a thinner but still rich soup, add up to one cup of almond milk close to serving time.

Adapted from "Party Vegan" by Robin Robertson.

Ingredients

  • 2 ½ cups or one 14-ounce jar cooked and peeled chestnuts*
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 2 celery ribs, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon brandy (optional)
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Finely minced celery leaves, for garnish

Directions

Thinly slice 4 of the cooked chestnuts and set them aside.  In a large saucepan, heat the 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat. Add the onion and celery. Cover and cook until the vegetables are softened, about 8 minutes.

Add the remaining chestnuts, parsley, thyme, broth, and salt and pepper, to taste. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.

While the soup is cooking, heat the remaining 1 teaspoon of oil in a small skillet over medium heat.  Add the reserved sliced chestnuts and cook until browned on both sides.  Remove from heat and set aside.

Puree the soup in a blender, in batches if necessary, and return to the pot. Reheat over medium heat until hot, add the brandy, if using. If the soup is too thick, add up to ½ cup more broth or up to 1 cup of almond milk.  To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with celery leaves and the reserved chestnuts.

*Note: If using fresh chestnuts, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Use a sharp paring knife to cut an "x" on the flat side of each chestnut shell. Arrange the chestnuts on a baking sheet and roast until the shells begin to curl open, 15 to 20 minutes. While the chestnuts are still warm, remove the outer shell and inner skin of each chestnut.  The chestnuts are now ready to use.

Click here to see A Vegan Holiday Dinner from the Party Vegan.

 

Party Shopping Tip

Purchase ingredients that can be used in a variety of dishes in bulk, in order to minimize waste and save money.

Party Cooking Tip

When planning your menu, try to stick to items that can be prepared in advance. This way you'll be able to enjoy the company of your guests on the day of your party.