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Chestnut Soup

" My Aunt Anne started a new tradition several years ago with this fabulous addition to our family holiday dinner. "

Ingredients:

8 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 pounds chestnuts, peeled
1 cup chopped onion
3 sprigs fresh parsley
2 whole cloves
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup heavy cream
3/4 teaspoon white sugar
salt to taste
ground black pepper to taste

Instructions:

1) To Cook Chestnuts: With a sharp knife, slice an "X" across each chestnut. Place chestnuts in a single layer on a jelly roll pan. Pour 1/4 cup water into the pan. Bake in a preheated 450 degrees F (230 degrees C) oven for 10 minutes. When cool enough to handle, shell and peel.

2) In a large saucepan combine the chicken stock, shelled chestnuts and chopped onions. Place the parsley sprigs, cloves and bay leaf in a spice bag and add to the chicken stock mixture. Simmer over medium-low heat for 45 minutes.

3) Discard the spice bag and puree the chestnut mixture in a food processor or blender. Add the heavy cream, sugar and salt and pepper to taste. Return mixture to saucepan and gently heat through. To serve to with a dollop of unsweetened whipped cream, a bit of chopped parsley and some cooked chopped chestnuts just before serving. High quality vegetable broth can be substituted for the chicken broth.