400g vac-packed chestnuts
300g peeled and chopped parsnips
1 onion, chopped
1 leek, sliced
2 stalks celery, chopped
600ml chicken or vegetable stock
salt and pepper
200ml pouring cream
juice ½ lemon
Melt butter in a heavy based saucepan and slowly sauté onion, leek and celery. Add chestnuts, parsnips, stock, salt and pepper and bring to boil. Simmer 30 minutes or until chestnuts are soft. Set aside 2 tablespoons of chestnuts and celery to garnish.
Puree with a stick blender or food processor and place back into saucepan. If a smoother soup is required it can be passed through a sieve. Add cream and bring back to boil, stirring continually as the soup can easily catch on the bottom of the pan. Add lemon juice and adjust seasonings to taste.
Serve topped with remaining chopped chestnuts and celery.
Recipe by Michael Ryan, Provenance Restaurant, Beechworth