Chestnut-Fennel Soup with Apple-Walnut Chutney
Created by noted New York chef Terrance Brennan of Picholine and Artisanal fame, this Picholine soup
brings together some favorite autumn ingredients and flavors.
- 3 Tbs. unsalted butter
- ½ cup (about 2 oz.) thinly sliced onion
- 1 Tbs. kosher salt
- 2 lb. chestnuts, roasted and shells removed
- ¾ cup (about 5 oz.) diced fennel
- ½ cup (about 4 oz.) peeled and thinly sliced celery
- 3 bay leaves
- 6 cups chicken-flavored vegetable stock or water
- 2 grinds black peppercorns
- Salt and additional freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 Tbs. unsalted butter
- 1 Tbs. walnut oil
- ¼ cup (about 1 ½ oz.) minced onion
- 2 Tbs. light brown sugar
- 1 Tbs. plus 1 ½ tsp. honey
- 3 Granny Smith apples, about 1 ½ lb., peeled, cored and cut into ½-inch cubes
- ¼ cup sherry vinegar
- ¼ cup (about 1 oz.) walnuts, chopped and lightly toasted
- ½ tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- To make Apple-Walnut Chutney: Place butter and walnut oil in skillet, and heat over medium-high heat. Add onions, and sauté, uncovered, until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Increase heat to high, and add sugar and honey. Sauté for 3 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Reduce heat to low, and add apples and sherry vinegar. Increase heat to high, bring to a boil and continue to cook until vinegar has reduced by two-thirds, about 10 minutes. Add walnuts, and cook 5 minutes more. Remove from heat, stir in salt and pepper, cover to keep warm and set aside.
- To make Chestnut-Fennel Soup: Heat 2 tablespoons butter in nonreactive 2-quart stockpot over medium heat. Add onions and salt, and cook until onions are transparent. Add chestnuts, fennel, celery and bay leaves. Cook about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching.
- Add stock, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, covered, 15 minutes. Remove cover, and cook 15 minutes more. Remove from heat, discard bay leaves and place contents in blender or food processor. Process until smooth. Strain and discard solids. Season with salt and pepper, and keep warm.
- Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter in saucepan on high heat, allowing butter to brown. Remove from heat, and fold browned butter into soup.
- To serve, warm chutney and mound equal portions in center of six warm soup plates. Ladle soup over chutney, and serve.
Earthy, aromatic, slightly sweet and rich in texture, this soup and its nutty-fruity garnish call out to many wines. For whites, try Alsatian Riesling, Austrian Grüner-Veltliner or Australian Semillon. For the reds, try French Beaujolais or Spanish Rioja. Experiment!