French onion soup shows up on the menu when the temperature starts to drop, but we wanted to make one that offers a little more nutrition. We still added a bit of mozzarella cheese but feel free to cut it out without losing great flavor from the chestnuts.
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 3-4 fresh leeks, chopped
- 3-4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 7-8 cups water
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2-3 cups fresh spinach
- 10 oz roasted chestnuts (about 24 of them)
- 1 cup rice milk
- 1-2 onions, sliced
- 1/2 cup mozarella cheese
Note: To guarantee the most flavorful soup, I really recommend that you get the base prepared the day before.
In a large stock pot over high heat, drizzle olive oil and saute leeks and garlic for 5-6 minutes. Don’t let anything burn but a slight brown is ok. Pour in water, then add salt and pepper, and spinach. Bring to a boil, lower heat, cover and let simmer as long as possible (this is when we put the pot in the bag).
In a small saucepot over low heat, simmer chestnuts in rice milk for 20-25 minutes. If you purchase the roasted nuts in a package, they will already be quite soft, but the rice milk will help soften them even more and help liquefy them in the soup. When you are ready to puree the entire batch, stir the chestnuts into the soup pot and liquefy (I used a hand mixer). Taste for flavor and adjust salt and pepper tastes, then return to pot and simmer.
Drop sliced onions into the base and continue to simmer until the onions are tender. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top and either put in salamander or use a hand held torch to brown the cheese in the bowl.