Serving
(click to enlarge)

Chestnut Soup
Spain - Galacia
  -   (Sopa de Castañas)
Serves:
Effort:
Sched:
DoAhead:  
5 soup  
**
2-1/2 hr  
Most

A substantial and satisfying soup, very easy to make (provided you have peeled chestnuts), and a fine way to use those chestnuts that broke up during peeling. Chestnuts, before the blight, were major sustenance in Spain, so there are plenty of fine Spanish recipes for them.



10
5
1
4
4
1/2
7
------
ar
2
3
2-1/2
oz
oz
cl
oz
oz
t
c
---

oz
T
T
Chestnuts (1)
Onion
Garlic
Serrano Ham (2)
Salt Pork (3)
Salt
Water
-- Finish
Bread, sliced
Onion
Olive Oil, ExtV
Sherry Vinegar (4)  
Make   -   (2-1/2 hrs - 30 min work)
  1. Peel CHESTNUTS (see Note-1) and cut into halves or quarters depending on size (or just use the random chunks of those that didn't peel right).
  2. Cut ONION into quarters lengthwise and slice medium crosswise.
  3. Crush GARLIC with the side of your prep knife.
  4. Slice HAM very thin and cut into pieces about 1/2 inch by 1/4 inch. Cut SALT PORK into dice about 1/4 inch on a side. Mix.
  5. Put everything above the "Finish" line into a pot and bring to a boil. Simmer covered for 2 hours.
  6. Check for liquid. This soup should be more liquid than you might think because that toast will really sop it up and you don't want your chestnuts high and dry.
FINISH
  1. Toast BREAD (light to medium) and cut off crusts.
  2. Chop ONION and fry gently in Olive Oil until just starting to color.
  3. When soup is done: stir in Onion, Olive Oil and Vinegar.
  4. Place a slice of Toast (or chunks of toast) in individual bowls. Ladle hot soup into the bowls and serve immediately.
NOTES:
  1. Chestnuts:   Weight is after peeling. For details and peeling method see our Chestnuts page. Factory peeled chestnuts can be found economically in the freezer cases of larger Asian markets and make this recipe much easier.
  2. Serrano Ham:   Legally imported now, but hard to find and costing up to US $160/pound (depending on form and DOM). This is unsmoked and totally unlike regular ham. If you don't have it, use Italian Prosciutto (say "Proshooto") which is widely available in service delis.
  3. Salt Pork:   Do not fear it - it's healthier than butter. For details see our Salt Pork page.
  4. Sherry Vinegar:   This is always stronger than regular wine vinegar, so if you use other wine vinegar or lemon juice instead, increase to 3 Tablespoons.
  5. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove in=inch, ar=as required tt=to taste
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