Chestnuts simmering in a mushroom soup… that’s how the holiday song goes right? At least in my head it does, while I’m whipping up this soup for some dinner guests. This soup had been on my to-try list for ages, and when we hosted some new Philadelphia friends for dinner the other night, I decided to finally try it out. I know, I know, you’re not supposed to try out new recipes on dinner guests. What if they fail spectacularly and you tarnish your reputation as a host forever? For me though, I view parties and dinners as the ideal time to try out new recipes, or dishes that might be a little too rich if my hubby and I were the only ones eating them up over a few days. And if they turn out less than stellar… well, there are just more people to consume the evidence.
That was not the case with this soup. I would serve this to dinner guests again and again, and maybe even just make it for myself! I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!
adapted slightly from thie Food & Wine recipe
Time: 1 hour (active time 30 mins) Serves: 8
- 1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
- 2 cups boiling water
- 2 T + 1 tsp unsalted butter, divided
- 1 pound white button mushrooms, quartered
- 2 medium leeks, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced OR 1 cup thinkly sliced onion OR 1/2 cup thinly sliced shallot
- 1 carrot, thinly sliced
- 1 celery stalk, thinly sliced
- 1 tsp minced fresh rosemary
- 1 1/2 cups peeled roasted chestnuts *
- 3 cups chicken stock
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 4 ounces fresh porcini or cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 1 T sherry cooking wine
- 1 T truffle oil
Pout 2 cups boiling water over dried porcinis; soak for 20 minutes. While they are soaking, prep the rest of your ingredients. (Don’t worry about chopping things too evenly; everything will be pureed.) After 20 minutes, strain the porcini liquid through a fine sieve, and chop the porcinis.
Melt 2 T butter in a saucepan. Add in chopped porcini, button mushrooms, leeks, carrot, celery, an rosemary, stirring well to coat all the veggies in a little butter. Sprinkle with a little salt to help the veggies release their liquid, and stir again. Cook the veggies for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they are starting to brown.
Add in the chestnuts, 2 cups porcini juice, and 3 cups chicken (or vegetable) stock, scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen any browned bits. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20-25 minutes, until all veggies are tender (check a chestnut with a fork – if you can mash it easily, it’s done!)
Pour the soup into a blender (or use an immersion blender) and puree until smooth. Make sure to vent the lid of the blender, or you will have a lovely mushroom explosion all over your kitchen. Stir in 1/2 cup heavy cream.
Melt remaining 1 tsp butter in your original pan. Add the remaining sliced porcini or cremini mushrooms, and cook uncovered for several minutes until mushrooms soften. Add a splash of Sherry cooking wine if you have it to deglaze the pan, and cook a few minutes more.
Divide soup evenly into 8 bowls, about 1 cup of soup in each. Top with sauteed mushrooms and a thin drizzle of truffle oil. Serve and enjoy!
Bonus yumminess: serve with toasted baguette slices spread with truffle butter. There’s no such thing as too much truffle, and anyone who tells you otherwise has broken tastebuds.