Chestnut and Madeira soup

This soup is perfect for Christmas. It’s seasonal, a touch special and utterly scrumptious.


1 onion
1 celery heart
1 parsnip
2 carrots
50g unsalted butter
500g ready cooked peeled chestnuts
150ml Madeira
1.2 litres chicken stock
salt and pepper to taste
200g pancetta
A few dollops of crème fraiche to serve
few sage leaves


Chop the vegetables. Melt the butter in a pan, and the veg and fry lightly for about 10 mins until softened and golden. Add the chestnuts and cook for 1-2 mins. Add the Madeira and simmer until reduced. Add the stock and seasoning, bring to the boil and simmer for 15mins. Transfer to a blender, puree and then return to the pan.

Fry the pancetta. Serve the soup, top with the pancetta, a little crème fraiche and some sage leaves.

Serves six.

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