Servings: Makes 10 servings
1. In large stock pot over moderately high heat, heat butter until melted. Add garlic, spring onions, onion, and celery and sauté until very soft, about 8 minutes. Add thyme, bay leaf, and chestnuts.
2. Cook, stirring occasionally until chestnuts are golden brown and aromatic, about 10 minutes. Add white wine and bring to boil, then reduce until no liquid remains, 15 to 18 minutes.
3. Add ¾ cup sherry and bring to boil, then reduce until almost no liquid remains, about 10 minutes. Add stock and bring to boil.
4. Reduce heat to moderately low and continue cooking until chestnuts fall apart very easily, about 1½ hours (If chestnuts are not completely cooked, the finished soup will be gritty.)
5. Remove from heat and remove thyme and bay leaf. Stir in remaining ½ cup sherry and honey. Working in batches, transfer to blender and blend until smooth.
6. Strain through fine-mesh strainer into clean pot. Stir in salt and pepper and keep warm.