Yield
Makes 6 servings

Notes: To use fresh chestnuts, you'll need about 1 1/2 pounds. Cut an X through shell on flat side. Immerse in boiling water and simmer 10 minutes. Drain, and while nuts are warm and wet, use a small knife to pull off shell and dark membrane. Or buy peeled, cooked chestnuts canned (in water), frozen, or in shelf-stable packaging. Up to 3 days ahead, make soup, cover, and chill. Reheat to serve, thinning, as desired, with more broth - soup thickens on standing. To make 12 servings, double the recipe and use a 6- to 8-quart pan.

How to Make It

Step 1

In a 5- to 6-quart pan over high heat, frequently stir shallots, thyme, and 1/2 cup broth until vegetables are lightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Add 6 1/2 cups broth and chestnuts. Cover, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until chestnuts mash easily, about 30 minutes.

Step 2

Whirl mixture, a portion at a time, in a blender until it is very smooth. Or, with a slotted spoon, skim chestnuts and vegetables from broth and purée in a food processor, then mix with broth in pan.

Step 3

Measure soup. If you have less than 6 cups, add broth to make this amount and return to pan and stir until hot. If you have more, boil and stir until soup is reduced.

Step 4

Ladle hot soup into bowls. Add a spoonful of sour cream to each and sprinkle with chives. Season with salt to taste.

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