Roasted Chestnut Pear & Chickpea Soup is a velvety smooth with subtle earthy undertones from the chestnuts, delicate sweetness from the pears, and a nutty essence from the chickpeas, making it a comforting and satisfying meal.
I absolutely love chestnuts and believe they’re a highly underrated ingredient in late fall and winter. Therefore, I chose to use fresh chestnuts and roast them myself, although jarred chestnuts can also be used. This soup serves as an excellent solution for those less-than-perfect pears, as not all pears ripen gracefully and tend to bruise easily. If you have pears that need to be used, this recipe is the perfect solution! The chickpeas complement the nutty-sweet chestnut flavor, adding both body and protein to the soup, making it a complete meal. The addition of aromatic ingredients like herbs, white wine, garlic, soffritto, and a touch of maple truly makes this soup shine.
Ingredients for Roasted Chestnut Pear & Chickpea Soup:
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil: This is my preferred choice for cooking fat. Ensure you use a high-quality variety; you don’t want to use any imitation oils.
- Shallot, Carrot, and Celery: While the traditional soffritto trio uses onions, I prefer the mellow flavor of shallots in this case, allowing the other flavors to shine.
- Garlic: This adds depth to the savory flavor, complementing all the other ingredients.
- Chestnuts: While jarred chestnuts work just as well, roasting your own chestnuts is a simple yet aromatic experience that fills your home with an amazing aroma.
- Chickpeas: While other white beans like cannellini can be used, I particularly enjoy the body and flavor that chickpeas bring to the soup.
- Bartlett Pears: Opt for a sturdy and firm variety of pears; I personally favor Bartlett, but in a pinch, any pear variety will do, or even apples can be substituted.
- White Wine (optional): This ingredient aids in deglazing the pan and enhancing the depth of flavor in the soup. It’s an optional but recommended addition.
- Vegetable Broth: This is crucial for enriching the soup’s depth of flavor. If you don’t have vegetable broth on hand, water can be used as a substitute.
- Maple Syrup: Although it might seem unusual, a touch of sweet, amber maple syrup works wonders in intensifying the soup’s flavors, imparting a perfect hint of sweetness to balance the savory notes.