Chestnut and sage soup

Fresh sage brings a fragrant herbal taste to this thick creamy soup and, when fried to make a garnish, tastes wonderfully toasted and crisp
By Jenni Muir
Chestnut and sage soup
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

main

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 leeks, sliced
  • 1 small carrot, finely chopped
  • 3 sage leaves, chopped
  • 200 g vacuum packed chestnuts, or other ready-cooked chestnuts, chopped
  • 1 x 400g can chickpeas, rained and rinsed
  • 3 tbsp sherry
  • 1.5 litres meat, vegetable or chicken stock
  • salt, and pepper

To garnish:

  • 180 g fromage frais, or low-fat Greek yoghurt
  • oil, for shallow-frying
  • 6 sage leaves
  • 6-12 chives

Method

1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan or pot. Add the leeks, carrot and sage and cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes until the vegetables are softened.

2. Add the chestnuts, chickpeas, sherry and stock and bring to a boil. Simmer for 30 minutes until all the ingredients are very tender and well-combined.

3. Remove the soup from the heat and allow it to cool briefly before puréeing the mixture. Then return to a low heat to keep hot and adjust the seasoning to taste with salt and pepper.

4. To prepare the garnish, place some oil for shallow frying in a frying pan and, when it is very hot, add the extra whole sage leaves, spacing them well apart in the pan. Allow them to crisp up, turning gently if necessary. Place them on paper towel to drain.

5. Ladle the soup into serving bowls and place 2 tbsp fromage frais or yoghurt in the centre of each. Top with the crisp sage leaves and chive stems, snipped on the diagonal at each end to look neat. Sprinkle some freshly ground pepper and salt on top and serve.

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