Ingredients (serves 4-6 as a starter):
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 6 sage leaves, plus extra to finish
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 1L/4 cups vegetable stock
- 2 tins cooked chestnuts
- 1 small bag cooked, peeled chestnuts
- 100ml/1/3 cup cream
- sea salt and pepper to taste
1. Heat 1 Tbsp of olive oil and the butter in a pan. Sweat the onion for about 10 minutes on low-medium heat, until translucent. Add the sage and garlic and saute for 1 minute.
2. Pour in the stock and the chestnut puree. Season with salt and pepper, increase the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir every few minutes.
3. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Remove the sage leaves and puree until smooth in a blender or food processor.
4. Return the soup to the pan and add the cream (not my favourite ingredient but it does add smoothness and richness to the soup). Warm gently but do not boil.
5. Slice the cooked chestnuts into small pieces. Heat the rest of the olive oil in a small frying pan. Heat and saute about 10 sage leaves until crisp, then drain on kitchen towel.
6. Ladle the soup into bowls, scatter on a few chestnut pieces and sage leaves. Drizzle on a few drops of olive oil. Finish with a generous grinding of black pepper.
Recipe and photo by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall in River Cottage Veg everyday.