I agree, peeling the chestnuts is a HUGE pain, but I only make this once a year (on Christmas), and the roasting/peeling/puree-ing can be done well in advance (then, you only need to add the cream on the day that it's served). For presentation, I recommend reserving a few roasted unpeeled chestnuts (one for each bowl). Just ladle the soup, place the roasted/unpeeled chestnuts in the center of the soup bowl, and sprinkle the parsley around the chestnut. My guests loved the novelty of peeling/eating roasted chestnuts on Christmas day (and it was 6 less chestnuts that I had to peel myself!).
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I agree, peeling the chestnuts is a HUGE pain, but I only make this once a year (on...