Roasted Butternut Squash and Chestnut Soup

I should have totally gotten my act together to get this soup on the blog before Thanksgiving but alas it was not meant to be. But it would have been perfect, I'm just saying. Good thing soup is necessary now that winter has hit us but good over here and this velvety soup hits the spot. I love chestnuts. Love them. But Lord Almighty, why does it have to be so hard to peel them?! At least twice a year I buy a big bag full, follow all Google directions for roasting perfectly, put them in the oven, wait patiently and excitedly for them to be ready, and then spend endless minutes trying in vain to peel them while simultaneously trying to avoid hacking up my fingers on the sharp peels. Honestly, I do not know what I am doing wrong but THANKFULLY they now sell ready to eat, perfectly smooth and peeled chestnuts in every store and very reasonably priced. I can now get my chestnut fix weekly without having to bandage my hands. The taste of chestnuts are subtle but I love how they add their pleasantly starchy texture and delicate earthy sweetness to this soup. Paired with the roasted squash, the soup, cooked with stock and then pureed yields a beautiful velvet texture that is a delightful to eat. So though I am sad this was not what would have been an amazing appetizer for a Thanksgiving meal I will happily be enjoying it throughout the next wintery week. Enjoy!

1 large butternut squash, peeled and cut into chunks
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
3 Tbl oil, divided
12oz (340 grams) peeled chestnuts
2 shallots, or one purple onion
2 cloves garlic
7 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 375. Place the butternut squash and sweet potatoes on a baking sheet and toss with 2 Tbl  oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 25 minutes until the squash starts to become tender. Add the chestnuts to the roasting pan, toss with the vegetables and roast another 10 minutes. Heat the remaining one tablespoon oil in a soup pot and saute the shallots and garlic. Add the roasted vegetables and chestnuts to the pot and add the stock and spices. Season to taste with salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Simmer for about 20 minutes and then puree the soup and serve.


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