Chestnuts roasting over an open fire take too long to make, am I right? ;) The perfect solution for that is to buy steamed, peeled, and vacuum-sealed chestnuts to save you time and frustration. This soup is incredibly rich and decadent, so don’t serve as an appetizer and think you’ll have room to spare for an entrée. For the meat lovers out there (ahem, husbands…), top with crispy bacon or chorizo. For my plant lovers out there, top with one or two roughly chopped hot chestnuts!
Why (the science): Don’t let the white color of parsnips fool you! They are loaded with vitamin C for immune boosting effects and collagen production.
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 ribs celery, diced
1 yellow onion, diced
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon cumin
Dash of red pepper flakes
1 glove garlic, minced
1 lb. parsnips, peeled and chopped (you may have to remove the fibrous core of the larger parsnips)
1 6-ounce package steamed chestnuts
2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup 2% milk
Heat oil over medium heat in a large Dutch oven. Add celery, onion, salt, pepper, cumin, and red pepper flakes and sauté for 5 minutes until tender. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add parsnips and sauté for 5 minutes.
Add chestnuts (reserving a few for the garnish if desired) and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, then lower temperature to a simmer, cover, and cook for 20 minutes.
Use a blender or a hand immersion blender to blend mixture until smooth.
Return mixture to Dutch oven, stir in milk, and heat over low heat.