Wednesday, December 3, 2008


I am newly obsessed with chestnuts. When I was staying with Amanda and Joschi in Germany, there were piles of them around, because Joschi is an excellent forager. I felt emboldened to order chestnut soup at a work dinner, and it was by far the best soup I've ever had.

Then, while hiking in Pinnacles last weekend, we came upon a bunch of chestnuts on the trail. I collected as many as I could before Mike said I was embarrassing him, and on Monday night I attempted to roast them for a soup. And they totally sucked. They were bitter and mealy and gross. You know what the lesson is there? Don't try to scavenge for food. Be a real modern disconnected-from-the-earth human and buy your chestnuts in a plastic carton like all the other good Trader Joe's shoppers.

I redeemed myself on Tuesday by making a really freaking good Mark Bittman chestnut soup. Just celery, onions, chestnuts and vegetable stock - that's it! So healthy! And tasty. It was a little chunky because my food processor is tiny and starts hiccuping after 15 seconds, but still. It was delicious.

And the chestnut love just keeps on coming. Today I found this article today on my beloved nuts. I don't doubt that the cream in that recipe would make the soup taste richer, but since I am a fatphobic cook, the Bittman recipe made more sense for me. 

Also, someone in the comments section called them "Hateful little yuletide horror-nubbins!" Which is too amusing to be insulting.


dethbakin said...

I read that Mark Bittman recipe, and I was like: ew! And then I read the NYT article about the on-the-cheap dinner party where they serve chestnut soup, and I was like: double ew!! But FINE Brennan, you have swayed me. I just might need to try this thing you call "chestnut soup" and insist is yummy. But part of my brain still thinks of it as peanuts floating in water. (Ew!)

GGB said...

Chestnuts taste like what would happen if a potato and a sweet nut like a cashew had a baby. SO FREAKING DELICIOUS. You just got to puree it up real good, and you will not be sorry.