Roasted Chestnut, Parsnip, and Apple Soup Take Two

Roasted Chestnut, Parsnip, and Apple Soup Take Two

I think I've made it very clear I'm not the biggest fan of soup. I prefer heartier meals, and I don't care how hearty a soup claims to be, it just isn't on par with a meal I can, well, 'sink my teeth' into, as they say.  I'm not weird about textures, but I do like to feel like I've eaten my meal, not drank it.  (Also REALLY not a fan of juicing, as you may have guessed. ;)  BUT, I do like some soups, and this is one that I don't even know why I tried, but I immediately loved it and saved the recipe in my files. (I also wrote a blog post about it!)   The texture is like a cream based soup, thick and rich and smooth, but it is decidedly not cream based. And the flavor is sweeter than savory, almost like a butternut squash soup, but the chestnuts give it a little more depth, and the parsnips keep it from being too sweet.  The original recipe was from a Gordon Ramsey cookbook, but he did not include any seasonings in the recipe.  When I made it the first time, I added fresh thyme, and a bit of cayenne pepper.  This time around, I decided to try different seasonings, and used basil, cinnamon, a pinch of cloves, and aleppo pepper.  I really liked this version!  This is one of those dishes that words cannot fully explain the flavor, you just have to try it yourself! 

Roasted Chestnut, Parsnip, and Apple Soup

(based on a recipe from Gordon Ramsey)
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 parsnips, peeled and cored if very large; smaller parsnips do not need to be peeled
2 apples, peeled, cored, and roughly diced (I used Fuji) 
8 oz roasted chestnut (vaccum sealed chestnuts work great)
1 quart chicken stock
1/2 tsp basil 
1/4 tsp cinnamon
pinch of clove
1/8 tsp aleppo pepper 
Salt and Pepper
 
Melt butter in a large saucepan. Add onion and celery, and saute until they start to soften, about 5 minutes.  Add the parsnips, saute another 5 minutes.  Add the apples, chestnuts, and garlic, and saute a few minutes more, until the garlic is fragrant.  Add the stock and seasonings, and bring to a simmer. Simmer until the vegetables are all softened, about 10-15 minutes.  Blend the soup to a puree with an immersion blender, or in a food processor.  If the soup is too thick, add more stock, water, milk, or cream to thin it a bit.  Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary. Serve in warmed soup bowls, and top with a dollop of crema, creme fraiche, sour cream, or heavy cream, as desired. 

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