“The reason this is one of my favorite holiday recipes is that on top of being absolutely fantastic, it fills the entire house with such an amazing aroma that it just sings the holidays are here,” said general manager and culinary expert Jeff Congdon.
From The Bluffton Room
INGREDIENTS (Serves 8)
1 cup celery, finely diced
1 ½ cups onion, finely diced
4 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 ½ pounds peeled chestnuts or 2.5 cups chestnut puree
1 quart chicken stock
1 quart milk
½ cup Smithfield cubed ham
1/3 cup cream sherry
Salt and pepper to taste
Sweat celery and onion butter in a large pot for 10 minutes over medium-low heat. Avoid any caramelization. Add Smithfield ham, stirring occasionally, and cook for 5 minutes. Add chestnuts and flour, stirring through until heated throughout and aromatic, 8-10 minutes.
Whisk in half of the stock, scraping the bottom of pan, until fully incorporated and a smooth consistency, then add remaining stock and milk. Turn up the heat to medium high, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom of pan, until you reach a boil. Turn the heat down to medium-low and cook 30 minutes, stirring often, making sure nothing is settling on the bottom of the pan.
Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper as desired. Add cream sherry and cook on low additional 10 minutes.
Working in batches, pour the soup into a blender and process on high for 30 seconds, and then filter through a fine mesh sieve or strainer. Soup may be chilled for later use or kept on low heat for service. Garnish with fine herbs or buttered croutons.