Last winter I "discovered" this beautiful nut when I saw them at Trader Joe's. Believe it or not, before then I had never tried this. I will say that they go perfectly with a glass red wine on a winter evening. Preparing, roasting, peeling and eating makes for a lovely ritual on those cold, dark winter evenings.
To roast them, you have CAREFULLY to make an "x" in each nut with a very sharp knife (I used cut-proof gloves for this task) and roast them at 400 degrees for about 12-15 minutes.
20-25 chestnuts, roasted, peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter or vegan butter
1 large onion, diced
salt and pepper to taste
8 ounces mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
5-6 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
1/2 cup chardonnay
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 fresh sage leaf
1 bay leaf
5 medium red potatoes, peeled and cubed
5 cups hot water
fresh parsley finely chopped
In a medium soup pot, sauté the onion with olive oil, butter, salt and pepper until the onions are translucent.
Add the mushrooms and garlic. Stir and cook on medium heat about 10 minutes until the mushrooms have released their juices.
Stir in the chardonnay, add the thyme, sage, & bay leaf. Bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat, add the hot water and potatoes. Simmer on low 15-20 minutes.
Add the chestnuts, reserving about 1/4 cup for garnish. Simmer about 30 minutes more or until the potatoes are tender and the soup has thickened slightly.
Top with minced parsley and additional chestnuts.