Pour the vegetable stock into a large saucepan, add the bouquet garni and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, cover the pan and leave the stock to simmer
Peel the celeriac, cut into small (1 cm) dice and add to the stock. Cover and cook for 10 minutes, or until softened.
Drain the chestnuts, if canned, add to the celeriac and simmer for 3–4 minutes more. Meanwhile, chop or snip the chives.
When the chestnuts and celeriac are cooked, strain and reserve the stock. Remove the bouquet garni and purée or blend the vegetables. Return the purée to the saucepan, add the butter and place over low heat until the butter has melted.
Stir in the crème fraîche or fromage frais, if using, 1 tablespoon at a time so the purée does not become too thin. If it is still too thick, add a little of the reserved stock, or some more crème fraîche or fromage frais, to thin it slightly.
Taste, season with salt and black pepper, then turn into a serving dish and sprinkle with the chives.
NUTRIENTS PER SERVING:
good source of vitamins B group, C and E.
To quickly cook fresh chestnuts, score the outer skin, place on a glass plate and cook in a microwave oven on high for 5 minutes, turning often. As soon as they are cool enough to handle, remove the outer and inner skins from the kernels. If you are using tinned chestnuts for this dish, make sure they are unsweetened.