Better Late than Never: Carrot & Fennel Soup w/ Maple Creme & Chestnuts

I apologize that I am posting this recipe so close to Thanksgiving (which is two days away!).
I know you already have your menu laid out and probably are cooking right now!

I decided at the last minute that I needed a soup this year, which I never do on turkey day. But since I bought a lot of French chestnuts, I thought I would use them here (and a chestnut apple cake is coming tomorrow, so stay tuned).

You can pin this recipe for next week, there is no law that says you have to use chestnuts only on Thanksgiving!

A few notes about this lovely soup.

I read some of the readers' comments over at Bon Appetit, and some said the soup was a bit flat.

I would agree.
If you don't make the fantastic maple creme fraiche and the chestnuts, then it is just a boring old pureed vegetable soup.

Also, I used some of my freezer bank of homemade stock, so this soup was extra good.

I cut down on the butter in the recipe and used a bit of olive oil along with the butter to cook down the vegetables.
(Trying to save calories where I can).

Once again, I am sorry this is so late.......but better late than never!

Carrot & Fennel Soup w/ Maple Creme Fraiche & Chestnuts: (adapted from Bon Appetit)

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large fennel bulb, thinly sliced
1 small onion, thinly sliced
2 carrots, peeled, chopped
1 small Yukon Gold potato, peeled, halved
2 sprigs thyme
1 bay leaf
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth (I used homemade chicken stock)

For the garnish: (don't skip this! I have spoken!)

1/4 cup coarsely chopped roasted chestnuts from a jar
2 tbsp butter
1/4 cup crème fraîche
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup

Heat 4 tablespoons of butter in a large heavy pot over medium.

Add the sliced fennel, onion, carrots, potato, thyme, and bay leaf; season with salt and pepper.

Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally and reducing heat if needed, until vegetables are soft but not browned and have released their moisture, about 45 minutes (this will give them deep flavor).

Add broth, bring to a boil, and season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat and simmer until potato is falling apart, 8–10 minutes. Let cool slightly. Remove herbs.

Working in batches, purée in a blender or with a hand immersion blender until smooth. Strain into a clean pot; season with salt and pepper.

Heat remaining 2 Tbsp. butter in a small saucepan over medium. Add chestnuts and cook, stirring often, until butter is browned and chestnuts are toasted, about 2 minutes.

Mix the creme fraiche w/ the maple syrup in a small bowl.

Serve soup in bowls drizzled w/ maple creme and topped with buttered chestnuts.

The second day I had it for lunch with Greek yogurt and harissa on top. So good.

Enjoy and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!


lisa is cooking said…
The creme fraiche and chestnut topping look great. I'll happily use chestnuts all through the winter! Hope you have a lovely Thanksgiving!
Natalia said…
I'm loving all the recipes that call for fennel, a vegetable that I've started using more of lately. Although I won't be having this for Thanksgiving, I plan on making it next week. Sounds delicious!