So, I armed myself with some chestnuts, and set to work.
Delia has thoughtfully provided the recipe online. I couldn't find any thyme for love nor money in my small town this week. Well, I gave up after 2 supermarkets and a fruit and veg shop. And made do without. So I really made Chestnut Soup with Bacon Croutons.
I decided that I would make stock for this soup, as I really wasn't sure that I'd like a chestnut soup, and wanted at least a good flavour base. Delia suggested either ham or vegetable stock. As I hadn't got myself organised to get a ham bone, I made vegetable stock. Making stock always seems so totally virtuous, even though for vegetable stock you roughly chop some veggies, cut a couple of bay leaves off the tree, and count out 12 peppercorns. Not very hard.
|but worth it|
So, how did the soup turn out? Better than I was expecting actually. Although, I'm not sure I knew what to expect at all. This being somewhat beyond my ken. It was thicker than I was expecting, which I think was body given to it by the chestnut flesh. I'm not sure that chestnut has a strong enough flavour to dominate anything- our local bacon is quite a powerful taste.
It is a bit of an unappealing colour, as many of Delia's winter soups have been actually. A bit dishwatery. Which is a shame. The nonsoup lovers in the house ate it, the adult one with reasonable enthusiasm, the 10 year old less so. But some minor bribery with strawberry jelly worked a treat. I'm not sure if I'd make it again. The whole chestnut process was rather lengthy and traumatic. Perhaps if we had easier access to packaged chestnuts? But then cooking them yourself adds to the appeal and the adventure of it all.