1 cup cooked shelled chestnuts (about 1 pound in shells)
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon pepper
5 (10 1/2-ounce) cans low-salt chicken broth
1/2 cup 2% low-fat milk
1 1/4 cups plain croutons
How to Make It
Melt margarine in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion; sauté 4 minutes. Add celery and carrot; sauté 6 minutes. Add potato and next 5 ingredients (potato through broth). Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 40 minutes.
Place chestnut mixture in a blender; process until smooth. Return to pan; stir in milk. Cook until thoroughly heated. Ladle soup into individual bowls; top with croutons, and sprinkle with paprika.
I really enjoyed this soup, despite the fact that I have (fondly) renamed it Pond Water Soup for the color. Next time I make it, I'm going to add a garnish of crumbled goat cheese or feta, snipped herbs, and dried cranberries to give it a bit more color on presentation...
I made this when fresh chestnuts were out of season, but Trader Joe's sells vacuum-sealed steamed chestnuts year-round, and that's what I've used every time - great alternative.
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