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Roasted Pear and Chestnut Soup with Celery Root Butter
Chef Barton Seaver of Café Saint-Ex and Bar Pilar—Washington DC
Adapted by
October 2006

Yield: 4 servings


    Pear and Chestnut Soup:
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 3 ripe Bosc pears, peeled, cored, diced
  • 2 cups chestnuts, shelled
  • 1 onion
  • 3 cups smoke-infused water

    Celery Root Butter:
  • 4 ounces celery root, peeled, diced
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Salt, to taste

    To Assemble:
  • Whole nutmeg

For the Pear and Chestnut Soup:
Preheat the oven to 450°F. Melt 1 Tablespoon butter and sauté the pears. Roast for 10 minutes until golden brown. In a medium-sized stockpot, melt remaining butter and sauté onion. After 4 minutes, add the chestnuts and cook for 4 minutes in butter to evenly coat and toast. Remove pears from oven and add to pot, making sure to scrape any cooking juices into the pan. Add water and simmer until chestnuts are very soft, about 20 to 30 minutes. Pour the soup into a high-speed blender and blend until very smooth. Pass through a fine mesh strainer using the back of a spoon. Keep warm until serving.

For the Celery Root Butter:
Simmer celery root in salted water until very soft. Strain and chill the celery root before blending with the cream in a high speed blender. Remove the purée from blender and whip in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment for one minute. Place in a cheesecloth and hang for 2 hours to drain moisture.

To Assemble:
Ladle soup into bowls. Garnish with a quenelle of the celery root butter. Microplane a little whole nutmeg over each bowl and serve immediately.

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