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Sweet Potato Soup with Chestnuts and Brandy

Serves 4-6
Brian Streeter
Pairs well with:
Chardonnay Reserve, Carneros, Napa Valley

Chef Brian Streeter shares a delicious soup recipe for the Holidays. Roast Chestnut and Sweet Potato Soup with Brandy pairs perfectly with Chardonnay Reserve from Napa Valley's cool Carneros region.


2 lbs sweet potatoes
1/2 lb. fresh chestnuts
3 T. butter
2 small onions,sliced thin
1/2 c. brandy
4 c. chicken broth, preferably homemade
1 bay leaf
1/4 c. creme fraiche
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 T. chives, chopped


Preheat oven to 400°F. Puncture sweet potatoes with the tines of a fork in several places. Place on a casserole dish and roast in the center of the oven until soft, about and hour and 15 minutes depending upon their size. While sweet potatoes are roasting, peel the chestnuts. Score the chestnuts on the elongated side, three quarters of the way around with a paring knife. Place on a casserole dish and roast for 10 minutes until chestnuts start to open along the cut side. Remove from the oven and while still warm, peel off the outside shell and the skin that covers the chestnut. Remove the sweet potatoes from oven. Allow to cool, peel and cut into large chunks.

In a wide bottom pan with straight sides, sauté the onion in the butter until soft and beginning to caramelize. Add the sweet potato, chestnuts and brandy. Simmer for 2 minutes. Cover with the chicken stock. Add the bay leaf and the salt and simmer for 15 minutes until sweet potatoes are starting to dissolve. Remove from the heat. Discard the bay leaf and puree on high heat until smooth. Return to the heat and whisk in the crème fraiche. Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary. Serve in warm bowls garnished with the chopped chives.

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