Serving Size: 8


2 lb. fresh chestnuts, baked, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 leeks, halved lengthwise, rinsed, and thinly sliced crosswise
1/4 cup port
2 tablespoon fresh sage, stemmed and chopped
8-10 cups vegetable or beef broth
Juice of 1-2 mandarin oranges to taste
Sea salt and pepper to taste

Orange Fromage Blanc
1 cup fromage blanc
Zest of 2 mandarin oranges
Juice of 1 mandarin oranges to taste
Sea salt to taste

Fried Sage
1/3 cup olive oil
20 sage leaves
Sea salt to taste


For the soup:

In a large soup pot, heat olive oil and butter over medium-high heat.  Add onions and leeks; saute until translucent, lightly browned and starting to stick.  Add port to deglaze the pan.  Simmer until port has reduced and all the bits stuck to the bottom are incorporated.  Add the chestnuts and broth, simmer for 10-15 minutes, until the chestnuts are tender.

Working in batches, puree the soup in blender until smooth.  Press through a strainer into a large bowl.  Thin with remaining broth, if too thick.  Season with orange juice, salt and pepper to taste.

To serve, drizzle with mandarin fromage blanc or mandarin olive oil and sage leaves.

For the Fromage Blanc:

In a small bowl mix fromage blanc, mandarin juice and salt to taste.

For the Fried Sage:

Rinse sage leaves and pat dry.  In a large frying pan, heat oil over medium high heat.  When oil is hot (it will ripple), add sage leaves in a single layer.  Fry about 10-15 seconds, until golden but not brown.  Remove from oil and place on a plate lined with paper towel.  Sprinkle to taste with sea salt.

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