Chicken and chestnut soup

Australian Women’s Weekly NZ - - HEARTY MEALS -

SERVES 4 PREP AND COOK TIME 50 MIN­UTES You will need to start this recipe at least 5 hours ahead of serv­ing.

150g dried chestnuts 2 cups (500ml) full-cream milk 2 ta­ble­spoons ex­tra vir­gin olive oil 1 large (200g) brown onion, chopped coarsely 3 cloves gar­lic, chopped 1 litre (4 cups) good-qual­ity chicken stock 2 bay leaves 3 sprigs fresh thyme

1 Place the chestnuts and milk in a medium saucepan; place over medi­umhigh heat. Re­duce the heat and sim­mer for 10 min­utes, then turn off the heat. Place a lid on pan and al­low to stand for 1 hour to cool, then re­frig­er­ate for 3 hours or even overnight (see Mag­gie’s tips). The chestnuts should ab­sorb some of the milk and be­come slightly soft. 2 Place a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the oil, then onion; cook, stir­ring, for 3 min­utes or un­til soft­ened. Add the gar­lic; cook, stir­ring, for a fur­ther 3-4 min­utes or un­til soft. 3 Pour in the stock, soft­ened chestnuts along with any re­main­ing milk – it should be about ¾ cup (180ml) – which has not been ab­sorbed, bay leaves and thyme. Bring to the boil; re­duce heat to sim­mer. Sim­mer for 20 min­utes or un­til soft­ened. 4 Re­move thyme and bay leaves. Blend soup us­ing a stick blender un­til smooth (or stand for 10 min­utes be­fore care­fully pour­ing into a jug blender and blend­ing un­til smooth). 5 Re­turn soup to pan; stir over medium heat un­til hot. Sea­son to taste with sea salt and freshly ground white pep­per. Serve soup in warmed bowls; gar­nish with ex­tra thyme leaves and olive oil.

Suit­able to freeze at the end of Step 4. Not suit­able to mi­crowave.

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