Lisa Faulkner's Pan-fried scallops with chestnut soup & crispy sage leaves

I started this dish as scallops with a chestnut puree but the purée was so delicious I decided to ‘let it down’, add some stock and make it into a soup with the scallops placed on top. - Lisa Faulkner

Serves: 4


olive oil, for rubbing
12 scallops
25g butter
For the soup
25g butter
2 bacon rashers, chopped
2 shallots, finely chopped
2 tablespoons Cognac
1 x 200g pack vacuum-packed chestnuts
500ml chicken stock
50ml double cream
salt and freshly ground black pepper

To finish:
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 sage leaves
1 tablespoon cranberry jelly (optional)


1. To make the soup, melt the butter in a saucepan, add the bacon and shallots and cook over a medium heat until softened.
Add the Cognac, let it catch light so that the alcohol burns off
a little, then add the chestnuts and stock and bring to the boil.
Simmer for 5–10 minutes. Transfer to a food processor or blender and blitz until smooth.

2. Pour the smooth mixture back into the saucepan, stir in the
cream and season to taste.

3. For the fried sage leaves, heat the oil in a frying pan and add the sage leaves. Cook until crisp, but be careful as they burn very quickly. Remove the sage leaves from the pan, blot on kitchen paper and then set aside.

4. To cook the scallops, heat a large frying pan. Season the scallops with salt and pepper and rub with olive oil. When the pan is piping hot, add the scallops and cook for about 1 minute. Turn them and add the butter. Cook for 1 minute, basting with the bubbling butter.

4.Pour the soup into shallow bowls, stack the scallops in the
middle and top with a fried sage leaf.

5. As an optional garnish for special occasions, melt the cranberry jelly and put it in a chef ’s squeezy bottle. Dot very small blobs of the cranberry jelly onto the fried sage leaves. Serve immediately