French Fridays with Dorie: chestnut-pear soup

Dorie Greenspan chestnut pear soup on eatlivetravelwrite.comChestnuts and pears in a soup – what a wonderfully seasonal combination for this week’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe (p 82). Not a combination I’d have thought of myself living in Toronto, it’s perhaps one that might have come to mind in Paris at Christmas where there are chestnut sellers all around the city – one of my favourite things about the season in Paris (and believe me there are many!).  While we don’t have roasted chestnut sellers on the streets here (though our weather certainly lends itself to that), I am lucky to be able to buy vacuum packed cooked, peeled chestnuts at my local supermarket ($2.40 for about 200 grams).

With onions, leeks, celery, pears and chestnuts, it’s a simple soup to make. I used slightly less liquid than Dorie calls for (she seems to like her soup thinner than I do). Dorie also calls for crème fraîche or heavy cream to serve but I actually enjoyed it without the creaminess – it’s a perfect soup for a heavier meal (like, say Thanksgiving or Christmas) but if you were eating it for a light lunch, a dollop of cream wouldn’t go astray.

I enjoyed this one a lot – slightly sweet and something a little different – and would make it again. Of course, it would be so much more fun to make it with freshly roasted chestnuts from the streets of Paris…

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13 thoughts on “French Fridays with Dorie: chestnut-pear soup”

  1. I don’t even want to tell you how much I spent to get my chestnuts sent to me. The very pretty French jar revealed just how far they had to go to get to my kitchen in time. I loved this as you did. Wish I could go to Paris now.

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  2. I loved this soup also. I have never lived in a city where there are vendors selling roasted chestnuts on the street but since I have a fireplace now, I plan to be my “own” roaster this year. I cut the liquid for a chunky soup but like your idea of serving this as a holiday starter. Mine will need to be a bit smoother for that. Yours looks as delicious as I know it tasted. No Christmas in Paris in my future but it sounds wonderful. (Note to Trevor: I need to get a better handle on my chestnuts purchasing also.)

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  3. NYC has always had vendors on the city streets selling hot roasted chestnuts from their carts. The aroma alone is magical, it’s my favorite time to visit the city…
    except for the crowds. Your soup looks lovely, Mardi. Glad that you enjoyed it!

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  4. I like my soup less thin as well. You are right, this would be a delicious holiday starter. It tastes like the season and is elegant to boot. Christmas in Paris sounds perfect too.

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  5. We both luck out with the chestnuts, yours vacuum packed and mine frozen and much cheaper than the rest of our girls!

    Agree with you that this is good as starter for a heavy meal ahead! Gonna make it again too!

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  6. I’m surprised that you guys don’t eat chestnuts they are definitely available though not as popular as they once were, all around New England. The cost of your nuts definitely attests to their availability… interesting.

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  7. Love the price you can pick up your chestnuts for – how curious they are so darn expensive here in PA. Granted it sure beats me roasting and shelling them (no thanks). Loved the memories of chestnuts in Paris during the winter months. I realized I have never visited Europe then and it does sound magical. We enjoyed this for the same reasons you mentioned (of course including being delicious) in that I would not have combined these ingredients and they were such perfect selections for the current season. And your bright blue accents were perfect- this less than photogenic soup looks gorgeous !!

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