I don’t know about you, but soothing, restorative soup is a much needed welcome change from the excesses of the festive season. Ok, it is a tad muddy coloured and perhaps not very visually appealing, but how can I begin to even explain the complexity of the tastes involved? The way the nutty, grainy chestnuts complement the savouriness of the vegetables and the smoky saltiness of the bacon, my Boxing-day family, still full up from the previous day’s over-eating, loved it.
Quietness ensues, I can hear spoons clinking against bowls, satisfied oohs and aahs. All is right with the world. It was even worth the scrum around the vacuum packed chestnuts in Asda 😉
Thank you Nigella. A much loved recipe.
chestnut Soup with Bacon Crumbles: (adapted from Nigella Christmas)
2 sticks celery
3 tbsp garlic oil
500g red lentils
3 litres vegetable or chicken stock
500g vacuum packed chestnuts
salt and pepper.
small bunch of parsley
1tsp garlic oil
10 rashers streaky bacon.
1. Finely chop the leek, carrots and celery (I used my small processor)
2. Heat the oil and add the chopped vegetables, cook for about ten minutes on a medium heat until softened a little.
3. Add the lentils
4. Add stock, bring to a boil, turn heat down a little, simmer for 40 mins until lentils are soft.
5. Add chestnuts, liquidize soup.
6. When you want to eat the soup, add the sherry and heat, add salt and pepper.
7. Finely chop the parsley and fry the bacon in the oil
8. Sprinkle each bowl with bacon and parsley.
9. Serve and enjoy.