A delicious Velouté French soup, the literal translation being to "be made like velvet", in other words, creamed and thick!! This is ALWAYS a hit with guests, friends and family, even those who profess not to like chestnuts, love this soup! Serve it with crispy bacon pieces/lardons and croutons for an elegant appetiser or as a light luncheon dish, with crusty bread & fresh butter. I have included the method for making your own croutons - they are far superior to shop bought ones if you have the time - also, try and use fresh herbs wherever possible. You can buy the chestnuts ready peeled and vacuum-packed OR in jars, in most supermarkets and specialist food shops; frozen chestnuts can also be used, as can fresh chestnuts of course!