Creamy Chestnut Soup


INGREDIENTS
4 slices bacon, roughly chopped
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 large shallot, roughly chopped
1 medium carrot, roughly chopped
1 small leek, roughly chopped
1 stalk celery, roughly chopped
4½ cups chicken stock
2½ lb. fresh chestnuts, roasted and peeled, or two 15-oz. jars whole roasted chestnuts, drained
1 bay leaf
1 sprig thyme
½ cup heavy cream
½ tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

INSTRUCTIONS
Heat bacon in a 6-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat; cook, stirring occasionally, until fat is rendered and bacon is almost crisp, 3–4 minutes. Add butter, shallot, carrot, leek, and celery; cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are soft, 5–7 minutes. Add stock, chestnuts, bay leaf, and thyme; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium; cook, slightly covered, until chestnuts are very tender, about 25 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Discard bay leaf and thyme. Working in batches, purée soup in a blender until smooth. Return soup to saucepan and place over medium heat. Stir in cream, nutmeg, salt, and pepper; cook until soup is slightly thick, about 5 minutes more.

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