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Easy recipe: chestnut soup.

With the help of peeled vacuum-packed chestnuts (from $6.25 for 7 oz.; available at gourmet shops and Whole Foods Markets), this otherwise labor-intensive soup becomes a rich weeknight standby. Melt 2 tbsp. butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add 2 chopped onions, 4 stalks chopped celery, and 1 tsp. salt. Cook, stirring, until onion and celery have softened, about 5 minutes. Add 1 1/2 lbs. peeled vacuum-packed chestnuts, 4 cups chicken stock, and 2 bay leaves. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until chestnuts are soft, about 10 minutes. Remove bay leaves and puree soup using an immersion blender (or whirl in batches in a blender or food processor). Add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Serve garnished with a dollop of creme fraiche and a sprinkle of chopped parsley if you like. Makes 6 servings.

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Title Annotation:November In the West
Publication:Sunset
Date:Nov 1, 2007
Words:199
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