Photo by Jennifer Hitchcock

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8-10 servings

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 slice bacon, cut into thirds
  • ½ cup shallots, roughly chopped
  • 1 small apple, roughly chopped
  • ½ cup celery root, roughly chopped
  • ½ pound button mushrooms (about 2 cups), sliced
  • 4 cups cooked, shelled chestnuts, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup cognac
  • ¼ cup Armagnac
  • 4 cups chicken stock, plus extra as needed
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig fresh sage
  • ¾ cup heavy cream, to taste
  • Salt, sugar, and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Sour cream, garnish
  • Fresh sage leaves, garnish

  1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter.
  2. Add the bacon and cook until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add shallots, apple, celery root, and mushrooms and cook for another 10 minutes.
  3. Add the chestnuts and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the cognac and Armagnac and cook until reduced by half.
  4. Add chicken stock, thyme, bay leaf, and sage and cook for 20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
  5. Purée soup in a blender until creamy and smooth. Strain the purée through a fine mesh strainer (chinois) into another saucepan. Return the soup to a burner over low heat and bring to a simmer.
  6. Add the cream and season with salt, sugar, and pepper.
  7. Ladle soup into individual bowls and garnish with a tablespoon of sour cream and fresh (or fried) sage leaf. Serve immediately.
  • from Chef/Proprietor Patrick O’Connell of The Inn at Little Washington, Washington, VA

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