Roasted Chestnut Soup with Dumplings
Chestnut soup is a wonderful gourmet experience, hot and rich, and full of the nutty flavor of American chestnuts. This is another example of "fusion" cooking - here we've combined an Asian favorite, Won Tons, with a traditional U.S. soup, right out of colonial America.
In a medium saucepan, combine the chestnuts with the onions, celery, garlic, bay leaves, potato, and chicken stock. Place over medium to medium-low heat and simmer until the potatoes are tender, for about 45 minutes.
In a blender, puree the soup in batches along with the fresh herbs, the lemon juice, and the Worcestershire sauce. (Or add all those mentioned ingredients and use a hand blender)
Stir in the cream and season with salt and pepper.
Reheat the soup before adding the dumplings. It should be piping hot when served.
For the Dumplings:
¼ pound ground pork
½ tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon chopped green onion
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons heavy cream
¼ teaspoon "quatre epices"
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
16 wonton wrappers
In a food processor, combine the pork, garlic, green onions, and parsley. Process until smooth. Add the Worcestershire, egg yolk, cream, red pepper, quatre d'epices and salt and pepper. Pulse until thoroughly combined.
To assemble the dumplings, use a spoon to place a dollop of filling in the center of each wonton wrapper. Each "dollop" should be about one tablespoon in size.
Use your fingers to wet the edges of the wonton wrappers, then fold them over until they meet to form a triangle. Press the edges together firmly to seal the dumplings.
Cook the dumplings in a large pot of boiling salted water. Cook them in small batches so as not to crowd. The dumplings are done cooking when they float to the surface of the water. The wrappers should be tender and translucent. This should take about 5 to 6 minutes for each batch of dumplings.
Serve the dumplings floating in hot chestnut soup.