I love warm, comforting soups in Winter. They are the best way to get loads of vegetables into the kids that they won't usually touch (broccoli is one in our house!)
When I was a teen I fell in love with Italy and travelled there with school, and again afterwards in my 20's. Something that always stayed in my memory were the roasted chestnuts on every corner, in every city. It was freezing they were so warm and tasty.
Last week I found these gorgeous nuts and couldn't resist taking them home, along with a lovely cauliflower to make a delicious, slightly sweet and creamy soup - with no dairy added! If you haven't tried chestnuts before this is an easy way to do it.
INGREDIENTS (serves 4)
- 1/2 head cauliflower
- 2-3 cloves of garlic crushed
- 1 leek (white part only)
- 1.5L Chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
- 1 tsp chopped rosemary
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 500g whole chestnuts (if you don't have fresh chestnuts use 400g cannellini beans or butter beans)
- Pre heat oven to 200C
- Cut all the nuts with an X on the top of the nut (A serrated edged knife works best - but be careful) this prevents them from exploding while roasting.
- Place the nuts in the oven for approx 25 minutes, until the nuts shell starts to open.
- Allow nuts to cool and shell them, it should come away easily
While the Chestnuts are roasting.
- Heat the olive oil in a heavy based saucepan
- Add in the onion and garlic and cook till translucent
- Add in the cauliflower and cook till soft
- Add the stock, and the shelled chestnuts
- Simmer on a low heat for 1 hour
- Blend the until smooth soup, and season with salt and pepper an garnish with a drizzle of macadamia nut oil and parsley.