Friday Flowers: Red Succulents and Cream of Chestnut-Potato Soup Recipe

Cream of Chestnut Potato SoupA friend of mine recently asked me what Friday Flowers is all about, and if I cook with the flowers.  No, I don’t.  (Well, very rarely — Nastursiums for example, are tasty and edible.)  However, Friday Flowers is really about how certain flowers make me think about certain foods.  And on most Friday’s, I share these connections I find between the flowers and food.  As one might pair wine with food, I pair the flowers with it — but not to eat, just to go with it.

My dad is a botanist of sorts (of great sorts!), and my mom and brother can name and tell you how to grow most plants.  I, on the other hand, look at a flower and think, “aah, how beautiful that would be with my soup!” I know, I know, weird!  Hey, some of us do Meatless Monday’s, I do Friday Flowers! 😉

Red SucculentsSo the other morning when I ran by these stunning red succulents, they immediately brought my mind to the bundle of chestnuts I’d roasted — their color, so deep, warm, and rich with flavor!  (I’ve been searching for their name to no avail — if you know it, I’d be grateful if you told me!Cream of Chestnut Potato SoupOn to the food and weekend cooking!  Do you have any food plans?  It is Friday, you know.  Let’s make this divine soup and cozy up with some friends!  It’s truly a beautiful and delicious treat, and would be fantastic with this bread!

Cream of Chestnut Potato Soup

Cream of Chestnut-Potato Soup Recipe
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • Olive oil for the pot
  • 1 cup roughly chopped brown onion
  • 2 roughly chopped garlic cloves
  • ⅔-pound roasted, peeled and roughly chopped chestnuts (How To Roast And Peel Chestnuts)
  • 2-pounds Idaho Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dry thyme
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoons grated Asiago cheese
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped chives
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Place a large soup pot over medium heat and coat the bottom with olive oil. Add the onion and garlic. Cook until the onions are soft, about 4 minutes.
  • Add the chestnuts and potatoes and cook until all of the ingredients are beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in the herbs and spices and cook until it's very aromatic, about 30 seconds. Then add the stock, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a low simmer, and cover. Simmer the soup until the potatoes are tender, about 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Use an immersion blender to purée the soup until it's as smooth as possible. Then place a fine mesh strainer over a large bowl, or another pot, and strain the soup. Use a spoon to stir the soup in the strainer to help it through. Tiny bits of the chestnuts will be left in the strainer, and a lovely, thick soup will be below.
  • Season the soup to taste with salt and pepper. Serve each portion with a bit of Asiago cheese and chives on top.
Instructions
  1. Place a large soup pot over medium heat and coat the bottom with olive oil. Add the onion and garlic. Cook until the onions are soft, about 4 minutes.
  2. Add the chestnuts and potatoes and cook until all of the ingredients are beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in the herbs and spices and cook until it's very aromatic, about 30 seconds. Then add the stock, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a low simmer, and cover. Simmer the soup until the potatoes are tender, about 20 to 30 minutes.
  3. Use an immersion blender to purée the soup until it's as smooth as possible. Then place a fine mesh strainer over a large bowl, or another pot, and strain the soup. Use a spoon to stir the soup in the strainer to help it through. Tiny bits of the chestnuts will be left in the strainer, and a lovely, thick soup will be below.
  4. Season the soup to taste with salt and pepper. Serve each portion with a bit of Asiago cheese and chives on top.

Timeline:
Up to 1 day and at least 40 minutes ahead: Make the soup!
This is one that I like best as freshly made as possible.  If you make it a day ahead, you might need to add a bit more stock when you heat it up.

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