Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Roasted Chestnut Bisque

Don't you just love when it's cold outside and all you want to do is curl up with a cup of coffee or hot chocolate and watch the fireplace?  I do.   I was perusing through some of my favorite blogs the other day when  I ran across this perfect winter soup recipe and was inspired to try it myself  (thank you P.C at The Runaway Spoon).   This is one thing that I absolutely love about the food blogging world, there are so many talented and professionally trained chefs out there that I am able to find great inspiration, fabulous cooking tips and techniques, and a few hilarious stories to enjoy. :)

I personally have never cooked with chestnuts, and have only ever eaten them while studying abroad in Spain (they love to roast them over an open fire around the holidays).  AND, this was my first time ever using marjoram and OH MY GOSH, I can't believe I've been missing out on this fabulous herb!  The minute I took it out of the package I was in love with the smell.  I wanted to rub it all over my hands and arms (Blake was watching me in my nostalgia from the couch at this point and laughing at me).  I mean, marjoram might be the best new food thing to happen to me in 2010!  So again, thank you to P.C. at The Runaway Spoon.

{Recipe} Roasted Chestnut Bisque
Adapted from The Runaway Spoon

For the Bisque:
  * 1 medium-sized yellow onion 
  * 2 carrots
  * 1 medium-sized leek
  * 1/4 cup olive oil
  * 4 cups chicken stock
  * 1 (7.4 ounce) jars roasted and peeled chestnuts
  * 6-7 sprigs marjoram
  * 1 1/2 cups heavy cream

For Marjoram Oil:
  * 6 Tblsp olive oil
  * 4 sprigs marjoram

Directions for Bisque:
1.) Dice the onion, carrots and leek.  Saute the vegetables in a large put with the olive oil over medium-high heat until soft and tender, and the onion and leeks are translucent.  Add the stock, chestnuts and marjoram sprigs (count how many so you can take them out later).  Bring to a boil, lower the heat, cover and simmer the soup for 45 minutes.  Leave the soup to cool until it’s safe to put in the blender. Meanwhile, prepare the marjoram oil (see below).

2.)  Fish out the marjoram stems, then transfer the soup to a blender in batches and puree until smooth.  After blending each batch, pour the soup through a wire mesh strainer set over a large bowl and push the soup through with a wooden spoon or spatula.  There won’t be much in the way of solids left behind, but straining the soup creates the velvety texture that makes this bisque so elegant. (For an even velvetier texture, you could push the soup through the strainer a second time).

3.) When ready to serve the soup, heat it gently over medium heat, stirring occasionally, but do not let it boil.  Slowly stir in the cream, incorporating it fully into the soup, then warm through.  Serve immediately drizzled with marjoram oil.

For the Marjoram Oil:
  *6 Tablespoons olive oil
  *4 sprigs marjoram

1.) Heat the olive oil in a small saucepan just until bubbles appear on the surface and the oil is shimmering.  Remove from the heat and leave to cool for two minutes, then drop in the marjoram sprigs, cover the pan and leave to cool.

2.) Strain the cooled oil into a jar or small spouted measuring cup for drizzling on the soup. The oil can be kept in an airtight jar for up to a week.


Ladybird said...

ROTFLMAO, love your commentary!!
I think you have a new calling!!!
Aunt Vicki

Ladybird said...

ROTFLMAO. Love your commentary!
I think you have a new calling!