Scallops With Chestnut Soup
- Olive oil for rubbing
- 12 scallops
- 25g (1oz) butter
- 2 bacon rashers, chopped
- 2 shallots, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons Cognac
- 1 x 200g pack vacuum packed chestnuts
- 500ml (17fl oz) chicken stock
- 50ml (2fl oz) double cream
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 sage leaves
- 1 tablespoon cranberry jelly (optional)
To make the soup, melt the butter in a saucepan, add the bacon and shallots and cook over a medium heat until softened.
Add the cognac, let it catch light so that the alcohol burns off a little, then add the chestnuts and stock and bring to the boil. Simmer for 5-10 minutes. Transfer to a food processor or blender and blitz until smooth.
Pour the smooth mixture back into the saucepan, stir in the cream and season to taste.
For the fried sage leaves, heat the oil in a frying pan and add the sage leaves. Cook until crisp, but be careful as they burn very quickly. Remove the sage leaves from the pan, blot on kitchen paper and then set aside.
To cook the scallops, heat a large frying pan. Season the scallops with salt, pepper and rub with olive oil. When the pan is piping hot, add the scallops and cook for about 1 minute, basting with the bubbling butter.
Pour the soup into shallow bowls, stack the scallops in the middle and top with a fried sage leaf.
As an optional garnish for special occasions, melt the cranberry jelly and put it in a chef’s squeezy bottle. Dot very small blobs of the cranberry jelly onto the fried sage leaves. Serve immediately.
Recipe courtesy of Lisa Faulkner.