Christmas is often a time for indulgence, whether it be treating yourself or loved ones to a special gift (or three), or enjoying the festivities with an abundance of good food and maybe too much champagne. After feasting on Duck Confit Parmentier and multiple serves of our favourite Chestnut Cream Pavlova for Christmas lunch, my husband asked for a simple vegetable soup for dinner later that night.
As I had some leftover chestnuts from lunch (which I had used to sauté with Brussels sprouts and bacon), I thought they would marry beautifully with some celeriac and parsnips. I had intended to roast the parnsips in maple syrup for a side dish at lunch, but as mashed potatoes featured in our main dish, I decided at the last minute to not overload everyone with carbohydrates.
So here is a simple and heart-warming soup for when you need a light meal. But, if you are like me, some baguette slices toasted with Gruyère cheese, with maybe even some fried bacon, will make this soup extra special.
Our children are not always the best at eating their vegetables but, miraculously, they love slurping on puréed vegetable soups. And this soup got a big thumbs up from my son 🙂
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 small brown onion, roughly chopped
- 500 g (1 lb) celeriac, peeled and roughly chopped
- 500 g (1 lb) parsnips (about 2-3 parsnips), peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 litre (4 cups) chicken or vegetable stock
- 250 g (9 oz) cooked chestnuts (see Cook's Notes below)
- sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- double cream or crème frâiche for serving
- chives, finely chopped
- Place the butter in a large saucepan and sauté the onions until they have softened.
- Add the celeriac and parsnips and give everything a good stir.
- Add the stock and simmer over low-medium heat for about 30 minutes, or until the vegetables have softened.
- Add the chestnuts and cook for a further 10 minutes.
- Purée the soup, either in a blender or using a hand-help soup blender.
- Return the soup to the saucepan and taste for seasoning. Add some sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. If the soup is too thick, add some more stock or boiling water.
- Serve with a dollop of crème frâiche and garnish with chives.
I tend to use chestnuts which have been pre-cooked and vacuum-sealed as they are readily available at my nearest supermarket. However, pre-cooked chestnuts which have been frozen or are sold in jars also work well in this recipe.
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