If you are really keen on preparing your soup from scratch, then the autumn is the time to buy fresh chestnuts.
- 400 g chestnuts (tinned or freshly boiled)
- 4 rashers smoked bacon
- ½ tsp smoked salt
- 2 apples
- 750 ml vegetable stock
- salt and pepper
- 150 ml cream
- 2 shallots (finely chopped)
- 100 g butter
- If you are really keen on preparing your soup from scratch, then the autumn is the time to buy fresh chestnuts. They will need to be boiled and peeled (a laborious and rather unpleasant task), but don't worry: these days good quality tinned chestnuts are readily available, so I am going to go that slightly lazier route.
- For the Soup:
- Heat the chestnuts through and add then shallots and sweat them together.
- Add the vegetable stock and bring the whole thing to the boil, let it simmer for three or four minutes, take it off heat and blend the chestnuts in the stock.
- If it's too thick, gently add more vegetable stock to loosen the mixture.
- Add the cream.
- Season with salt and pepper if required.
- For the Smoked Butter:
- Put soft unsalted butter into bowl in little pieces and add half a teaspoon of smoked salt and whiz.
- For the Garnishes:
- Cut the apples up very finely and cut the bacon into little chunks.
- Fry the bacon for a couple of minutes and when the bacon starts to go brown, add the apples and stir gently until you're ready to serve.
- Place the bacon and apple in the bottom of the bowl then pour your soup over them, put a little bit of smoked butter on top and leave it melt.