Creamy Cauliflower Chestnut Soup

Susan from Food Blogga 

2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoons olive oil
2 shallots, diced (1/2 cup)
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 medium potatoes, diced (2-2 1/2 cups)
1 medium head cauliflower, florets only (4 1/2-5 cups)
2 bay leaves
4 cups water (or vegetable broth)
8 ounces of bottled chestnuts (about 20 chestnuts, or 1 cup)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon fresh chopped rosemary
1 tablespoon fresh chopped sage
1 1/2 cups regular milk (or half milk, half cream)
15-20 cranks of fresh black pepper
a generous amount of salt, to taste
1 tablespoon butter at end
more fresh herbs and chopped chestnuts for garnish

In a deep pot over medium heat, saute shallots and celery in butter and olive oil, for about 3-5 minutes. Add diced potatoes, cauliflower florets, bay leaves, and water or broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce to low, and cook until potatoes and cauliflower are tender, about 15 minutes. Remove bay leaves. Add chestnuts, cinnamon, nutmeg, rosemary, and sage. Turn off heat, and let cool 5-10 minutes before pureeing.

Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender until smooth and return to the pot over low heat. Add the milk and salt & pepper, and stir occasionally until the soup is thoroughly combined and heated, about 10 minutes. Just prior to serving, stir in 1 tablespoon butter to the soup for added creaminess and depth of flavor.

Garnish individual bowls with fresh herbs and chopped chestnuts, if desired.