Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Feel Like You're at Fenway Park with a Sausage and Peppers Sandwich

Major League Baseball's opening day is today. For Red Sox and Yankee fans, however, the real opening day occurs on April 8th, when the Sox and Yankees go head-to-head for the first time of the season.

Whether you like to admit it or not, the Red Sox-Yankees decades-long rivalry is the biggest draw for Major League Baseball. Plus, there are the hotties (Derek Jeter), lovable sluggers (Big Papi), fierce pitchers (Josh Beckett, Mariano Rivera) and, most importantly, killer food. I'm not talking about Cracker Jacks and hot dogs. I'm talking about sausages.

Outside of Fenway Park, there are over a dozen food carts manned by loud, beefy Boston food vendors hawking sandwiches filled with everything from kielbasa to steak tips. It's the humble Sausage and Pepper Sandwich, or "sangwich" as it's often called, that is the most beloved of all. Sweet or spicy Italian sausage links are grilled or sauteed until glistening and crisp then tucked inside of a crusty Italian roll and smothered with tender cooked onions and bell peppers.

You can get a Sausage and Pepper Sandwich from a number of places, but for the purest Fenway experience, go to the The Sausage Guy, also known as David Littlefield. Over the last decade The Sausage Guy has sold millions of his sandwiches and has become a local celebrity and bona fide tourist attraction.

Like most of you, I won't be at the Red Sox-Yankees game, but that doesn't mean we can't be there in spirit. So do what I plan on doing. Make yourself a Sausage and Pepper Sandwich, or as many New Englanders say, "a soss-age n' peppiz." Crack open a cold one. Watch the game. Realize that, yes, life is good.

The Encyclopedia of Sandwiches shares recipes, history, and trivia for over 100 beloved meals between sliced bread. Each sandwich, as you can see from the images here, is accompanied by a full-color, gorgeous photo beautifully styled by Adam C. Pearson and photographed by Matt Armendariz. You can pre-order your copy today! 

Sausage and Peppers Sandwich from my new book, The Encyclopedia of Sandwiches 
Makes 4 sandwiches
Printable recipe.

2 tablespoons olive oil
4 Italian links (about 1 1/4 pounds total), preferably hot Italians sausage with fennel seeds
1 small green bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
Salt, to taste
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
3 to 4 tablespoons red wine or water
4 sub rolls or crusty Italian rolls, split lengthwise

1. Place oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add sausage links and cook, turning until browned all over, about 5 minutes. Ad bell peppers, onion, salt, and crushed red pepper flakes. Reduce heat to medium-low and saute, turning occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add wine or water and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 2 to 3 minutes. The meat should be thoroughly cooked and the vegetables tender.

2. Brush rolls with olive oil and broil 1 to 2 minutes, or until golden and crisp.

3. Open 1 roll. Place 1 sausage link firmly inside. Smother with a quarter of the peppers and onions. Repeat with remaining sandwiches. Eat immediately.

You might also enjoy these porky foods:
Pork Tenderloin Sandwich recipe from Food Blogga
Fennel Sausage and Rapini Pizza recipe from Food Blogga
Grilled Sausage Sandwiches with Pickled Red Cabbage recipe from Sippity Sup
Sausage, Peppers and Smoked Mozzarella Panini recipe from Panini Happy
Chicken Sausage, Onion, and Broccoli Rabe Pizza recipe from Revel and Feast
Veal Cutlet Sandwich with Garlicky Greens, Smoked Mozzarellas and Prosciutto recipe from Food Blogga

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Upcoming San Diego's Food Events: Kaiser Permanente's Sustainable Feast and Cooks Confab's "School Lunch!"

When: Saturday, April 2, 2011 at 10am; check-in begins at 9am
Where: Amici Park, Little Italy at State Street and West Date Street 

Local Food, Live Music, Raffle Prizes, and FREE Kids Zone! 

The Sustainable Feast, a FREE event open to the public, will include live music courtesy of  the Teagan Taylor Trio, a muscially rising Jazz/Pop band and an Outdoor Education Zone with interactive science and nature inspired activities for kids of all ages.

The event will pair local farms with some of San Diego's top chefs who will create a variety of delicious dishes, prepared up close and personal. Restaurant tasting tickets are availble for purchase for $35 and include 10 culinary tasting tents, a raffle ticket, and commemorative cookbook. Families are encouraged to share their tasting with their young children or purchase a tasting ticket for older children who would enjoy the variety of food offered at each station.

Net process will benefit the Outdoor Education Foundation's scholarship fund. To purchase tickets, please click here.

When: Sunday, April 3, 2011 from noon to 4pm

San Diego's Cooks Confab is a group of San Diego's most innovative chefs sharing their culinary talents with San Diegans by hosting educational events, stylishly fun dinner parties and smaller-scale gatherings with the goal to generate awareness on important food-related causes in our community today. 
On April 3rd from noon to 4pm, Cooks Confab will host "School Lunch!" an event dedicated to raising awareness of the staggering epidemic of mediocre food being served in our schools. 
Chefs of the Cooks Confab will partner with local farms, ranchers, fishers and artisans to serve Haute Cafeteria Style Cuisine (HCSC)™ at Fibonacci’s Campus Pointe Bistro, by Waters. They will showcase healthy “School Lunch” options designed to spark critical discussion about an issue that needs immediate attention from not only the San Diego community but communities across the country.
You'll hear from school administrators, cafeteria staff and farmers who are collaborating to create a farm-to-school movement. As Cooks Confab co-founder, Andrew Spurgin, says, “Only through educational outreach, mutual partnership with all the stakeholders of this broken system will real change for our children’s good be accomplished."
For more event details and to purchase tickets, please visit the Cooks Confab website

Monday, March 21, 2011

What's the Difference Between Red Cabbage and Radicchio?

red cabbage and radicchio
Red cabbage on left; radicchio on right.

Last time I was at the supermarket, the cashier picked up my head of radicchio and punched in the code for red cabbage. The price came up as 70 cents.

I said, "Actually, that's radicchio, not red cabbage."

She voided it and punched in the correct code for radicchio. The new price came up as $5.50.

"Wow! That's expensive!" she said. "You should just get the red cabbage instead."

Get the red cabbage instead? Is she serious?

So what's behind this $5 difference between red cabbage and radicchio? Is it cabbage inflation? Is the Mafia getting kickbacks on radicchio sales?


red cabbage and radicchio
Red cabbage on left; radicchio on right.

Red cabbage and radicchio may resemble one another, but when it comes to flavor, they're  as different as traditional broccoli and bitter broccoli rabe. So what is the difference between radicchio and red cabbage?

Radicchio (pronounced ra-DEEK-ee-o) is a leafy member of the chicory family, often called Italian chicory, which explains its bold, bitter flavor. Although it's compact like red cabbage, radicchio's leaves are thinner and more tender unlike red cabbage's firm and waxy texture.

Red Cabbage is a variety of cabbage with reddish purple leaves. It's flavor and texture is similar to green cabbage.

When you're at the supermarket, here's how to tell the difference between radicchio and red cabbage:

Radicchio is burgundy-red with white streaks. It's light when you hold it in your hand and soft to the touch. The price ranges from $3-6 a pound.

Red Cabbage is actually more purple than red and is uniform in color. It's heavy, firm, and has a waxy finish. The price is typically under $1 per pound.

Both have their places in the kitchen, but just remember, they are not interchangeable. Red cabbage is best in slaws or simply slow-cooked and served with pork or beef. Radicchio is wonderful raw in salads, grilled and used as pizza topping or sauteed and tossed with pasta.

When when you want a bold Italian salad, you've got to go with radicchio. Due to its bitterness, radicchio pairs best with sweet, salty and acidic ingredients such as oranges, prosciutto and balsamic vinegar. That's why this early spring Radicchio and Orange Salad with Citrus-Champagne Vinaigrette, is so pleasing.

So next time you're at the market, don't let the cashier guilt you into buying red cabbage instead of radicchio. Just smile, pay the price, then reward yourself with an unforgettable radicchio dish when you get home.

radicchio and orange salad with champagne vinaigrette

Radicchio and Orange Salad with Citrus-Champagne Vinaigrette
Makes 2 main or 4 side servings
Printable recipe.

1 medium head of radicchio
1 large or 2 small sweet oranges, such as Navel or Valencia

1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
The zest of 1 large or 2 small oranges
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. In a large bowl, toss radicchio and oranges.

2. In a small bowl, whisk vinaigrette ingredients. Pour over salad, and toss well. Taste it, and adjust seasonings as desired. Let sit for 20-30 minutes before serving so the radicchio becomes infused with the vinaigrette. 

*Add thinly sliced fennel bulb and toasted pine nuts.
*Add crispy pan-seared prosciutto and toasted walnuts.
*Add sliced or shredded cooked chicken and crumbled blue cheese.

You might also enjoy these recipes featuring radicchio:
Grapefruit Radicchio Salad recipe from Cooking With Amy
Roasted Radicchio and White Beans recipe from A Sweet Spoonful
Radicchio Hazelnut Blue Cheese Salad recipe from The Dinner Files
Linguine with Grilled Radicchio and Bacon recipe from A Big Mouthful

Thursday, March 17, 2011

It's Time to Cook a Mess O' Greens, Southern-Style Collards That Is.

raw greens
From left to right: red kale, mustard greens, collards, curly kale.

I have a wonderful relationship with collards. It wasn't always that way.

Having grown up in Rhode Island, I had never even seen collards until I moved to Chapel Hill, North Carolina in my mid-20s. Our first meeting wasn't pretty, but I decided to give them a second chance, and now, they're my constant companion from December through April when they're at their peak.

Today I find myself saying things like, "I'm gonna make a mess o' greens this weekend," and "Honey, gimme some of that cornbread for this here pot likker!" I told you we have a wonderful relationship.

Whether you love greens or are still skeptical, why not skedaddle over to NPR's "Kitchen Window" where you'll find my latest piece, "Eating O' The Greens. Beyond Southern Side Dishes." You'll learn all about Southern greens and get four delicious recipes.

Southern-Style Greens

Southern-Style Greens: Collard Greens with Ham Hock

This traditional method of cooking greens uses ham hock, a cut of meat from the hog's lower leg, which is typically smoked or cured, to flavor the greens. It's available at butcher shops as well as most major supermarkets.

Makes 6 to 8 servings

Printable recipe.

2 teaspoons canola oil
1 smoked ham hock, about 3/4 pound
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
3 pounds collard greens, about 3 large bunches, rinsed and drained, stems removed and cut into 1/2-inch strips
6 to 7 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Hot sauce, to taste

1. In a Dutch oven or other large, deep pot over medium heat, warm oil. Add onions and ham hock, and saute 8 to 10 minutes, stirring a few times, until onions are browned and wilted. Add collards, broth, vinegar, salt and black pepper and a few dashes of hot sauce. Stir well. Cover and bring to a low rolling boil. Partially cover and simmer for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the collards are soft and pale green. If you like them really soft, then cook them longer, until desired consistency is reached. Taste them, and season with salt and black pepper, as desired. Ladle some of the liquid over the collards before serving. And keep the hot sauce bottle on the table.

Southern-Style Greens: Collards with Bacon

This is also a Southern-style greens recipe that uses only bacon instead of ham hock. It tastes slightly saltier and less overtly meaty than using ham hock.

Makes 6 to 8 servings

4 strips bacon, sliced into 1-inch pieces
1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 small garlic cloves, minced
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
Several dashes hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
4 pounds collard greens, stems removed, sliced into 1-inch wide strips

1. Place bacon in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook until browned around the edges but still pink in the middle. Add the onions and cook until browned and softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute. Add broth, vinegar, hot sauce, salt and pepper, and stir well. Bring to a rolling boil. Add collards, stirring well. Reduce to low, stirring occasionally, until collards are tender and pale green. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with juices spooned on top and the hot sauce bottle on the table.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Would You Like a Review Copy of My Book, The Encyclopedia of Sandwiches?

How do you keep a Dagwood from toppling over? Who created the macho Muffuletta? What makes a deviled ham sandwich devilish?

Discover these answers and more in The Encyclopedia of Sandwiches, a chunky little cookbook dedicated to everything between sliced bread, written by yours truly, Susan Russo.

Hero. You have to be a hero to finish one. 

The Encyclopedia of Sandwiches shares recipes, history, and trivia for over 100 beloved meals between sliced bread. Each sandwich, as you can see from the images here, is accompanied by a full-color, gorgeous photo beautifully styled by Adam C. Pearson and photographed by Matt Armendariz of Matt Bites.

The Muffuletta or "Muff." Despite its dainty nickname, it's pure machismo.

You'll find cherished classics such as Peanut Butter and Jelly, Fluffernutter and the Muffuletta as well as perky up-and-comers including The Cubano, The Nutella Sandwich and the Vietnamese Banh Mi.

Hawaii's Spamwich is suspicious yet delicious.

Regional favorites such as Hawaii's Spamwich, New Orleans's Po'Boy and Pittsburgh's Primanti are included along with quirky creations such as The Potato Chip Sandwich, The Banana Split Sandwich and The Doughnut Sandwich.

Salmon Sandwich, a modern take on the classic fish sandwich.

Belly-busters such as the Italian Hoagie, the Mexican torta and the all-American Jucy Lucy, or "inside-out" cheeseburger, share space with Skinny Sandwiches including the Grilled Portobello Sandwich, the Salmon Sandwich and The Roasted Vegetable Panini.

Whether you're a carnivore, vegetarian or omnivore, you'll find plenty of tasty options between sliced bread.

The Encyclopedia of Sandwiches will be released on April 5, 2011, but you can pre-order your copy today! 

Would you like a review copy for your blog? If so, here's what how it will work:
1. Email Eric Smith at: eric AT Quirkbooks DOT COM. Send him your blog url and your name.

2. Post a review of the book on your blog anytime during the month of April.

3. Please link to The Encyclopedia of Sandwiches Amazon page, to Quirk Books's website and to me, Food Blogga.

4. Accept a BIG warm-hearted thanks from me! And if you come to San Diego, I'll make you a big, bad meatball sub.

Please note that quantities are limited, so contact Eric soon if you'd like a copy!

The Encyclopedia of Sandwiches, Recipes, History, and Trivia for Everything Between Sliced Bread (April 5, 2011). Published by Quirk Books and distributed by Random House, Inc.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Using Twitter for Recipe Inspiration

honeyed chipotle-banana bread

Where do you get recipe ideas? Cooking shows? Food magazines? The Wednesday food section of your newspaper? Blogs? (Um, I hope you nodded "yes" to that last one.) How about Twitter and Facebook?

Last time I had some overripe bananas to use up I could have made my favorite banana, coconut, and Medjool quick bread, but I wanted something savory. Nothing was coming to mind, so I did what any connected food blogger would do: I asked my tweeps.

I tweeted, "Does anybody have any good savory recipes for ripe bananas?" Within minutes I had several responses, but it was Jill of @eatitdrinkit's response that intrigued me. She suggested I make chipotle banana bread. Chipotle chilis in banana bread? Really? Yes, really.

When I asked her for the recipe, she said she didn't have one. The flavor combo just came to her, and before she realized it, she was making a batch of Banana-Chipotle Bread. When she posted it on her blog, she triumphantly exclaimed, "It worked!"

Inspired, I decided to give it a whirl as well and created my own version: Honeyed Banana-Chipotle Bread. The spicy chipotle chilis enhance the sweetness of the ripe bananas and honey, while the pepitas add crunch and nuttiness. Enjoy this bread plain, toasted with melted butter, as a dunker with a cup of soup or even the basis of a sandwich.

You could make Jill's version or mine. But they're so good that you might as well make both. You won't have any trouble finishing them.

honeyed chipotle-banana bread

Honeyed Banana-Chipotle Bread
The spicy, smoky chopped chipotle chilis are tempered with honey, giving this bread a pleasing mixture of heat and sweetness.

*Please note a correction to this recipe was made on Monday, March 14th. The printable recipe has been changed.

Printable recipe.

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour or white whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 cup honey
4 large eggs
1 cup low-fat plain yogurt, strained
1/4 cup canola oil
2 small very ripe bananas (about 1 cup)
3 chipotle chilis in adobo sauce, chopped*
2 tablespoons unsalted pepitas*

1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Coat 1 (8 1/2 X 4 1/2 -inch) loaf pan with cooking spray.

2. In a medium size bowl, whisk the flours, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.

3. In a large bowl, beat honey and eggs with an electric hand mixer. Add yogurt and oil; beat until batter is smooth. Lower the speed; add the bananas and chipotle chilis and beat briefly (it's ok if the batter has a few lumps).

4. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and mix until just incorporated. Pour the batter into the pan. Sprinkle with pepitas. Bake for 60-75 minutes, or until the top is a deep golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the middle comes out clean. Check the bread about halfway through. If you feel like the top is getting too brown, then tent the pan with a piece of aluminum foil and continue baking. You can also place the pan on two stacked baking sheets in the center of the oven to prevent the bottom of the bread from getting too browned.

5. Transfer the bread to a rack; let cool for 10 minutes, then unmold and place on a rack to cool to room temperature.

*Shopping Note: Canned chipotles in adobo sauce can be found in Mexican speciality markets as well as the Mexican food section of most major supermarkets. Pepitas are Spanish pumpkin seeds that can be found in Mexican speciality markets and speciality foods markets. 

Here are more savory baked goods you might enjoy:
Chili Chocolate Muffins  recipe from Apple & Spice
Chili Chocolate Cupcakes recipe from The Cake Mistress
Date, Fennel and Pistachio Scones recipe from Food Blogga
Apple, Cheddar, and Rosemary Beer Bread recipe from Food Blogga
Chipotle Orange Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe from In Jennie's Kitchen

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Enjoy Your Winter Salads Because Spring Salads May Be Late This Year.

Spinach and Apple Salad with Cranberry-Maple Dressin

I received some bad news at the supermarket the other day. After going to three stores searching for fresh fennel bulb and not finding a single one, I asked a produce manager if he had any. He told me that fennel was going to be sparse this season because of frosts in California that damaged many crops.

Seeing my obvious disappointment, he said, "But we just got some artichokes in. Do you like those?"

"I love artichokes," I said, feeling suddenly uplifted.

He walked me over to the next aisle, and pointing to the large bin of artichokes, said proudly, "Here they are! Take your pick."

It didn't look promising. The outer leaves of the artichokes were covered in white spots. Many had angry brown streaks running up the leaves. I picked one up and gently squeezed it. It was spongy instead of firm.

"Aren't those white spots and brown streaks signs of frost damage?" I asked the manager.

"Um, yeah, but really, they're not that bad," he said sheepishly, then walked away.

So I didn't end up with either fennel or artichokes. Curious about these frosts, I decided to do a little research about California crops when I got home. Here's what I discovered: Heavy rains and freezing temperatures in January destroyed many avocado farms, which will lead to smaller crops and higher prices at the market. Unseasonably cold weather has  cost many farmers corn and lettuce crops. More concerning is a white mold that is attacking several California crops including lettuce, broccoli and cauliflower.

It seems this spring will be difficult on farmers and consumers alike. So in the meantime, enjoy your reasonably priced, tasty winter produce including greens, squash, root vegetables and apples.

Spinach and apples are in abundance right now, so try this colorful winter Spinach and Apple Salad with Cranberry-Maple Dressing. Flavor contrasts are the key to this salad's success: sweet spinach and tart Granny Smith apples are doused with a rich dressing made from sweet maple syrup, mouth-puckering cranberries and tangy apple cider vinegar.

It may not sing spring, but it will sure brighten any dreary winter's day.

Spinach and Apple Salad with Warm Cranberry-Maple Dressing
Makes 4 main or 8 side servings
Printable recipe.

12 cups fresh spinach (about 16 ounces)
1 large Granny Smith apple, thinly sliced with skins on and doused with lemon juice
1/4 cup lightly toasted pecans or walnuts, coarsely chopped (optional)

1 cup fresh or unthawed frozen cranberries with 6 tablespoons water
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. In a large bowl, toss spinach and apples.

2. In a small pot over medium-high, add cranberries and water. Cook until they begin to pop. Let cool. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk oil, vinegar, maple, salt and pepper. Pour into a small food processor with cranberries in water and puree. It's OK if it's a little lumpy.

3. Pour still-warm dressing over the salad, and toss well. Sprinkle with chopped nuts.

Here are more exciting winter salad recipes you might enjoy:
Roasted and Stuffed Pear Salad recipe from
Frisee and Cara Cara Orange Salad recipe from Food Blogga
Roasted Purple Cauliflower and Arugula Salad recipe from Food Blogga
Raw Kale and Citrus Salad with Pumpkin Seeds recipe from Dani Spies
Winter Chicken Salad with Blood Oranges and Apples recipe from Stacey Snacks
Shaved Celeriac, Radish and Pecorino Salad with White Truffle Vinaigrette recipe from The Nourish Network

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Rich, Spicy, Velvety Butternut Squash and Chestnut Soup


Last week I admitted being overly zealous upon spotting the first canned pumpkin of the season. You know, buying six or eight cans of the stuff in October only to have it collecting dust in my pantry in February.

Here's what I didn't tell you: Sitting next to those cans of pumpkin are three boxes of vacuum-sealed chestnuts. After waiting weeks for the them to show up at Trader Joe's last November, I bought four boxes. Then my mom sent me four more in a Christmas care-package. Eight boxes of chestnuts is too much for anyone.

Chestnut stuffing is a decidedly Thanksgiving-only food, so over the last few weeks, we've enjoyed savory chestnut pancakes, easy pasta with chestnuts, pancetta and marsala wine, and lots of butternut squash and chestnut soup. With 20 chestnuts per batch, this soup is ideal for using up those leftover chestnuts. You'll love the scents of spicy cinnamon, nutmeg and fresh sage wafting through your kitchen as the soup bubbles away, but not as much as you'll love the creamy texture and rich, soothing flavors. Although this soup is delicious the day it's made, it's even better the next day and makes tasty leftovers.

I actually have three more large butternut squash sitting on my counter top waiting to be used. Maybe I should go to Trader Joe's and see if they have anymore chestnuts.

Velvety Butternut Squash and Chestnut Soup
Serves 6-8
Printable recipe.

1 (1 1/2-2 pound) butternut squash (about 4 cups cooked)
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus a little for brushing the squash
1 yellow onion, diced (about 1 cup)
3 celery stalks, chopped (about 1 cup)
2 carrots, peeled and chopped (about 1 cup)
4 cups water low-sodium vegetable broth
8 ounces of bottled or vacuum packed chestnuts (about 20 chestnuts or 1 cup)
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage, plus extra for garnish
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup whole milk (or half milk, half cream)
1 tablespoon butter at end

1. Position a rack in the center of the oven, and preheat to 400 degrees F. Slice butternut squash in half. Scoop out the seeds and discard. Brush the flesh with a little bit of olive oil. Roast flesh side down on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet for 40-45 minutes or until tender when pierced with a fork. Let cool slightly before scooping out flesh. Discard skin.

2. In a deep pot over medium heat, warm oil. Saute onions, celery and carrots for 5-7 minutes, or until softened and lightly browned. Add the cooked squash and broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce to low, and cook for 5-7 minutes. Add chestnuts, cinnamon, nutmeg and sage. Turn off heat, and let cool 5-10 minutes before pureeing.

3. Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender until smooth and return to the pot over low heat. Add the milk and salt and pepper, and stir occasionally until the soup is thoroughly heated, about 10 minutes. Just prior to serving, stir in 1 tablespoon butter to the soup for added creaminess and depth of flavor. Taste it. Add salt and pepper as necessary. Garnish individual servings with fresh herbs, if desired.

You might also enjoy these recipes featuring chestnuts:
Italian Lentil and Chestnut Stew recipe from Mostly Eating
Creamy Cauliflower and Chestnut Soup recipe from Food Blogga
Brussels Sprouts with Chestnuts and Pancetta recipe from Angie's Recipes
Rigatoni with Chestnuts, Pancetta and Marsala Wine recipe from Food Blogga
Duck Tagine with Chestnuts recipe from Hunter, Angler, Gardener, Cook