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LEEK AND CHESTNUT SOUP

Italian Family Dining
by Edward & Eugenia Giobbi

Every fall, am of the men from the younger generation—son or son-in-law—-goes out to Katonah to help Edward make wine. After a morning crushing the grapes, amidst those smells, and others, of dying leaves and wet dogs and chimney smoke, they sit down to a hot bowl of this creamy, sweet leek and chestnut soup and a glass of last year's red wine.
Serves 4

Ingredients
• 1 cup fresh chestnuts
• 4 tablespoons olive oil
• 2 large leeks, whites only, rinsed and sliced
• 1 cup beer
• 4 cups chicken or beef stock
• 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks (we prefer Yukon Gold)
• 1/2 cup heavy cream
• Salt
• Toasted croutons, for garnish


Directions
Score the chestnuts, put them in a small pot, and cover with water. Boil for 3 minutes. Drain the chestnuts, then peel and skin them, and chop.

Heat the oil in a large heavy-bottomed soup pot over medium heat. Add the leeks and chestnuts, and cook until the leeks are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the beer and continue to cook for 5 minutes. Add the stock and potatoes and cook until the chestnuts are very soft, about 30 minutes.

Push the soup through a food mill or sieve (you can use a processor, but the potatoes will become a little sticky). Return the soup to the pot, swirl in the cream, and add salt to taste.

Serve this soup warm garnished with toasted croutons.

 

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