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I went into Williams-Sonoma tonight and they had this out on sample (www.williamssonoma.com). I don't particularly care for orange squash, but this recipe was divine. To speed preparation, this recipe calls for prepared butternut squash puree. A garnish of lightly sweetened whipped cream and chopped roasted chestnuts adds richness and texture to the soup.
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 2 golden delicious apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
- 1 (32 ounce) jar butternut squash, puree
- 2 1⁄2-3 cups chicken stock
- 1 large bay leaf
- 2 teaspoons salt, plus more, to taste
- 1⁄2 cup heavy cream
- fresh ground pepper, to taste
- 1⁄2 cup heavy cream, whipped until just thickened (optional)
- 12 fresh chestnuts, roasted, peeled and roughly chopped
- ROASTING CHESTNUTS
- Using a small, sharp knife or a chestnut knife, score, or shallowly cut, an X on one side of each nut. Be careful not to cut through the nutmeat.
- To roast the chestnuts in the oven: Lay the nuts in a single layer on an ungreased baking sheet, and roast in a 350°F oven until the nuts are fragrant and the scored portions begin to separate from the shells, 15 to 20 minutes. (If you're going to eat the chestnuts plain, increase the heat to 400°F and bake until the shells give slightly when pressed with oven mitt-protected fingers.)
- To roast the chestnuts in a chestnut pan: Heat the pan over medium-low heat and add the chestnuts. Cook, tossing the chestnuts frequently, until the shells crack and the chestnuts are cooked through, 30 to 35 minutes over a gas flame burner, 35 to 40 minutes over an electric or conduction burner.
- Transfer the nuts to a platter or heatproof surface and cover with a damp kitchen towel to keep them warm.
- 5. Using a kitchen towel or pot holder, pick up each nut and, with your fingers or the knife, peel back the scored X. Peel off the hard outer shell and the thin, beige, soft inner skin. Discard any nuts that, once peeled, look dried out.
- Eat the chestnuts immediately or use as directed in a recipe.
- In a small stockpot over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and apples and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes. Stir in the butternut squash puree, 2 1/2 cups of the stock, the bay leaf and the 2 teaspoons salt. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and discard.
- Using an immersion blender, puree the soup in the pot until smooth. Pour through a fine-mesh sieve set over a clean stockpot. Stir in the cream and add more stock to reach the desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper. Reheat the soup gently to serving temperature.
- Ladle the soup into warmed bowls. Garnish each serving with a swirl of whipped cream and sprinkle with chestnuts. Serve immediately. Serves 6.
- Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.