Spotlight Recipes: Roasted Chestnuts & A Seasonal Soup

Roasting chestnuts over the fire is a popular pastime for this time of year, but that's not the only way to enjoy these sweet nuts. How about a creamy soup?
Roasting chestnuts over the fire is a popular pastime for this time of year, but that's not the only way to enjoy these sweet nuts. How about a creamy soup, too?
Chestnut Basics

A half cup of raw, unpeeled chestnuts contains 155 calories, 1.5 grams of fat and 6 grams of fiber. Although they do contain fat, it’s the healthy unsaturated kind so don't worry. These nuts are also a good source of the antioxidant vitamin C along with the energy-producing B-vitamins thiamin and folate. You can also find chestnut flour (made from dried nuts that have been ground), which is a gluten-free flour alternative for baking.

Ways To Love Them
You can roast, boil, puree, preserve and even candy these nuts!

To roast, make a half-inch slit on the bottom of the nut -- it’s important not to forget this step or the nuts may explode! Place the nuts in an oven-proof pan with a little butter and heat on stove top over medium heat until butter has melted. Then roast them in the oven at 400 degrees for 5 to 8 minutes. Remove them from oven and peel off shells while nuts are still warm using a small paring knife.

Once they're roasted, you can eat them plain or add them to other dishes. A lot of holiday stuffings call for chestnuts and some creamier, fatty soups. When browsing for recipes that were healthier choices, this Creamy Chestnut Soup with Porcini Mushrooms caught my eye.

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