“Chestnuts roasting on an open fire…” as goes the popular Christmas carol. Every year I buy chestnuts at the farmers market or the supermarket and roast them, just because it’s the thing to do this time of year. And they are delicious, slightly sweet, nutty and meaty all at the same time. But they are a PAIN to peel. Chestnuts have to be roasted to be sweet, but they can’t be too cool or they are impossible to peel. You want to peel them when they are still practically burning your fingers…and the shells and shell membrane can still be almost impossible to remove. So this year, I thought I’d try pureeing them in soup – then, I figured, if I didn’t get all the tiny bits of brown membrane off, it wouldn’t matter if they were a sweet, hearty ingredient in a Cauliflower & Pear Soup with Roasted Chestnuts.
That was my plan for this month’s #Nutlove Love Bloghop recipe challenge. I figured I would just throw some cauliflower, pears and chestnuts on a couple roasting pans, roast everything together and then puree it all with some chicken broth. It worked! (And even though the cauliflower got a little too brown in a few spots while roasting long enough for the chestnuts to roast to a sweet soft consistency, it didn’t matter! Because everything just got pureed together.)
We’ve been eating a lot of soups lately in this cold weather, but this one is really deliciously different: Savory (the cauliflower takes on a rich almost meaty flavor – in fact a friend who stopped by my kitchen asked what sort of meat I was cooking for dinner!) and a little sweet from the pears. But when I tasted it, it needed a little something extra. Freshly grounded nutmeg was a perfect subtle addition, along with (full-fat, good quality) sour cream or full-fat yogurt for a tangy zip.
Please check out other #Nutlove posts below and enjoy all the great nut recipes this time of year!
What are your favorite nuts to eat this time of year?