Dinner Tonight: Lentil and Chestnut Soup


[Photograph: Nick Kindelsperger]

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Chestnuts are usually the enemy of a quick meal. Roasting them and then removing their tough skins can take ages, especially if you're not particularly skilled at the process (like me). So I would have normally skipped right past this soup from Nigella Lawson's How To Eat if it hadn't called for canned chestnuts, which, it turns out, require absolutely no prep work. I can't comment on whether they taste as wonderful as the regular variety, but they sure do work well here.

Part of the success of the soup also comes from the red lentils, which are cooked until nearly falling apart. They look a little worn out by the end, but that doesn't matter much considering you're going to puree everything up at the end. The result is a creamy, slightly nutty soup that's more more complex than it looks. The cream sounds superfluous, but the contrast of the warm pureed soup and the cool cream works extremely well.

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Lentil and Chestnut Soup ยป