Chestnut Soup With Roast Red Pepper & Chestnut Salsa in Adobo
I’m defintely a nut about women with abundant “chests”…so I thought some of you may enjoy this delightful aphrodisiac receipe featured by Johanna-Maria Wagner of ThePassionateCook.com
I decided to pair this chunky soup with a “salsa” of chopped chestnuts and roast red peppers, seasoned with some adobo sauce I had from a tin of chipotle chillies—and I tell you, try to go out of your way to get some, as the smoky flavour and the subtle spiciness complement the sweetness of the soup perfectly… a very nice combination, indeed. If you can’t find any, have a go at making your own. Alternatively, you might want to play around with a little smoked paprika, however spicy you want it (the Spanish version is usually mild, whereas some Hungarian ones can bring tears to your eyes with just a pinch). Of course, this will taste even better using fresh chestnuts—I am including instructions for roasting them in the recipe below.
25 grams butter
3 shallots (finely chopped)
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
435 gram can of chestnut purée
600 ml vegetable stock
80 ml single cream
2 red romano peppers
100 grams chestnuts (roasted and peeled)
1 tablespoon adobo sauce* (or more to your liking)
1 tablespoon chopped parsley (optional)
First, prepare the salsa.
Put the peppers under the pre-heated grill and leave there until the tops are charred and throwing blisters. Turn over and repeat.
Place in a bowl and immediately cover tightly with cling film to steam them further. This will allow the skin to be peeled more easily.
Gently remove the skin, then cut off the stalk and, using your finger, open the pepper lengthwise to make one large pepper “fillet”. Remove all seeds, then cut into long, thin strips.
Chop the chestnuts roughly, place them in a bowl with the pepper strips, season with the adobo sauce, salt, pepper and parsley (if using), then rest (the salsa, not you!) until ready to serve.
For the soup, melt the butter in a large pot and sweat the onions until fragrant and browning. Deglaze with the sherry vinegar, then add the chestnut purée and the stock, boiling vividly. If the purée is very thick, you might need to work the soup with a blender to achieve smoothness.
When ready to serve, re-heat the soup (if necessary), remove from the stove and stir in the single cream. Avoid re-heating after adding the cream, as it easily curdles.
Arrange a pile of salsa in the middle of a shallow soup bowl and spoon the soup around.
Serve with crusty bread.
- I used adobo sauce from a tin of chipotle chilies which you should find in a well-stocked delicatessen or a Mexican grocery store. They are also widely available for order online: Mexgrocer (US), Lupe Pinto’s (UK), Cool Chile (UK). If you can’t get any, experiment with smoked paprika a bit.
If using fresh chestnuts, preheat the oven to 200 C. Score the chestnuts (crosswise on their backs) with a sharp knife, put on a baking tray, transfer to the oven and roast for 20 minutes, until the skins have cracked open. Leave to cool for a few minutes, then peel (it’s easier while they’re still hot) and transfer to a bowl. Top with some vegetables stock and purée until thick and smooth.
Serves 4 as a starter or 2 as a meal.