Hugh served this festive soup on River Cottage Christmas
Heat 1 tablespoon of rapeseed oil and the butter in a saucepan over a medium-low heat and sweat the onion for about 10 minutes, until soft and translucent. Add the sage and garlic and sauté for a minute.
Pour in the stock and add most of the chestnuts – reserve a handful for finishing. Season with salt and pepper, increase the heat and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring from time to time.
Remove from the heat and cool slightly, then purée until very smooth in a blender. Return the soup to the pan, add the crème fraîche and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Warm through gently, but do not let it boil.
Meanwhile, slice the reserved chestnuts. Heat some sunflower oil in a small frying pan over a medium heat and sauté the extra sage leaves for a few seconds until crisp, then drain on kitchen paper.
Ladle the soup into espresso cups, add a small spoon of crème fraiche and gently swirl into the soup. Scatter on the chestnuts and sage leaves and serve immediately.
The best chefs on TV and over 6,000 recipes