Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thanksgiving Recipe: Chestnut Soup from the 1789 Restaurant

On Saturday afternoon, I took the most enlightening cooking class at 1789 Restaurant in Georgetown with my mother. The highlights of the class were the two uber charming chefs, Head Chef Daniel Giusti above and Pastry Chef Travis Olson below, who stressed quality ingredients and simple preparation make for delicious food. Our menu was based on the American Chestnut, which isn't easy to find. We made Chestnut Soup which I'll reveal below, roasted chicken with chestnut polenta and brussel sprouts, and milk chocolate mousse with poached pairs and candied chestnuts. It was all delicious and made even more enjoyable because we sat at a long table and shared stories with a great group of women (many of whom were former Redskins cheerleaders) and one brave man. Don't be surprised to find my new Redskins friends on JSG because they just returned from a fab trip to Italy that I can't wait to dish about!

Chestnut Soup

serves 4

1.5 cups peeled chestnuts (can substitute asian chestnuts)

1/2 onion (peeled and diced)

1/2 carrot (peeled and diced)

1/2 rb of celery (diced)

2 cups poultry stock

2 Tbsp whole butter

salt and pepper to taste

In a small pot, melt 1 T of the butter and then add the vegetables. Cook the vegetables slowly until they soften slightly. Add the chestnuts and just cover with the poultry stock. Cook the chestnuts until they are falling apart. Let the mixture cool slightly and then blend with the remaining butter. Pass the soup through a fine sieve or chinoise. Possible garnishes: brioche croutons, thinly sliced raw chestnuts, glazed chestnuts, foie gras (seared or torchon).

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