Sunday, December 7, 2014

Soup night Fancy Pants Style!

It starts as a simple soup night with good friends. The host makes a big pot of soup and everybody else brings salad, bread, wine and dessert. It's low stress and meant to be a mid-week easy get together. Well not this month! For December we decided to have a "Fancy Pants" Soup Night - and boy did we. I busted out the fine china and crystal and with velvet jackets and Jessica McClintock gowns we had a feast! When it was decided that it was going to be a "holiday" soup night Richard said - "why don't we do whole roasted crab?" What could be better than that? And honestly what could be easier? We bought the crab cooked, cracked and cleaned and just had to heat it up with the sauce. Paula brought a wonderful cheese platter to start - some yummy, oozy, smelly delicious varieties and Alex made our special cocktail of the night an Aviator - it was a gin based pre-prohibition drink with Violet liquor - amazing purple/grey color AND easy to drink ; ) But I couldn't stray too far from our soup roots so I started with a Chestnut Soup served in my china tea cups with tiny little croutons. Kevin made a tasty salad of beets,  pomelos, shaved sunchokes topped with hazelnuts. And for dessert Sarah baked a special Feijoa Custard Pie and we had my little crispy caramel salted chocolates. And wine - did I mention the assortment of champagne and wine?! What a perfect evening - thanks to all! and we even had our special guest Malin to share in our happiness. Bring on the holidaze!! What a way to start!
Crab Fest - bibs included

Awarded "cutest couple" and "best dressed"

Soup Group - love no shoes and comfy socks!
Chestnut Soup serves 8 as appetizer

2 cans roasted chestnuts in water about 2 cups- not the sweet kind (and yes you could roast your own - but even I don't do that!)
1/2 onion chopped
2 shallots chopped
1 stalk celery including leaves chopped
couple tablespoons butter
1/2 cup chopped smoked ham
1 bay leaf
4 cups chicken stock (I had turkey - oh so good)
1/4 cup half and half
salt and pepper to taste

Drain chestnuts and set aside. In a large pot melt the butter and add the veggies and cook about 10 min until softened. Add the ham and continue to cook another 5 min. Add the broth and chestnuts and cook about 45 min until all is tender. Let cool slightly and put in a blender (or use one of those hand held blenders) and puree until smooth. Return to pot and add cream and salt and pepper to taste. Nutty, hammy goodness. Top with little croutons or for a special touch sauté a few wild mushrooms - talk about gilding the lily! 

Post note: My favorite toast of the night. "Here's to drinking great wine in crystal glasses with greasy crab fingers!" Yes, we know how to get down and dirty!

No comments:

Post a Comment