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From: KJ (
Subject: Smoky Chestnut and Sweet Potato Soup
Date: March 21, 2003 at 12:43 pm PST

In Reply to: Yum posted by Sabrina on March 21, 2003 at 10:21 am:

This recipe uses dried chestnuts, which I have never in my life seen. If anyone knows where to get them, please post some suggestions!

Smoky Chestnut and Sweet Potato Soup
from The Voluptuous Vegan by Myra Kornfeld

1/4 cup hazelnuts
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 med onion, diced (1 cup)
1 celery stalk, thinly sliced on the diagonal (1/2 cup)
1/4 tsp nutmeg, plus more for garnish
2 medium-size sweet potatoes (1 lb), peeled and cut into 1" chunks (3 cups)
1 cup dried chestnuts, soaked overnight or by quick-soak method
1 bay leaf
salt and freshly ground black pepper
pinch of cayenne
1 tbsp rum

Preheat oven to 350. Spread hazelnuts on a baking sheet and place in the oven for 7-10 minutes, until the skins darken, get papery, and begin to crack. Transfer the nuts to a dishtowel or paper towel and rub between your hands to loosen the skins. (Don't worry if every last bit of skin does not come off.) Chop the nuts and set aside.

In a pressure cooker, saute the onions and celery, then add the nutmeg and sweet potatoes. Add chestnuts and bay leaf and enough water to chestnut-soaking liquid to make 5 cups. Lock the lid, wait for high pressure, then lower the heat just enough to mainain high pressure. Cook 15 minutes, Allow the pressure to come down naturally or use a quick-release method.

Remove the bay leaf. Puree the soup in a blender or with an immersion blender. Return the soup to the pot and, if necessary, add water to thin the soup to the desired consistency. Season with salt, pepper, and a pinch of cayenne. Add the rum and cook an additional 5 minutes.

Serve hot, sprinkled with additional nutmeg and the toasted hazelnuts.

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