Chestnut Mushroom Soup – A Perfect Soup For Christmas Dinner Starter

Chestnut Mushroom Soup

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The completed Chestnut Mushroom Soup with chopped chestnuts, thick slice of bacon and thyme as garnish.

For the last two months, I’ve been meaning to try a chestnut soup since they are in season. I have searched high and low and there are so many chestnut soup recipes floating around on the internet. It seems like a very popular soup especially in the US for Thanksgiving as well as Christmas.

A recipe that interested me the most was with chestnuts and mushrooms on Oprahs website. I modified it a tad though.

I also saw alot of tweets talking about chestnut brussel sprout soup – I may have to try that in near future as well.

The verdict? This chestnut mushroom soup was very tasty, rich, smooth and hearty. I would almost serve a little bowl or cuppacino cup (vs a mid-sized bowl) to guests. It is a perfect soup for an appetizer for Christmas dinner!

Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 (2-ounce) chunk pancetta
  • 1 cup shallots, chopped
  • 1 cup celery root, chopped
  • 5 cups button mushrooms, trimmed and sliced
  • 1 1/2 cup gourmet dried mushrooms (porcini, shiitake, yellow boletes, oyster)
  • 1 1/2 pounds (4 cups) dry-packed chestnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup cognac
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig fresh sage
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 7 cups low sodium chicken stock
  • 3/4 cup half-and-half cream
  • dash of pepper and salt to taste

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Soak dried mushrooms in hot water for 20 minutes (while prepping everything else), then drain and chop.
  2. Heat olive oil in heavy pan over medium-high heat. Add pancetta, shallots, and celery root; cook 5 minutes, or until shallots are softened. Scrape out of pan and set aside.
  3. In same pan, heat remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms (button and dried mix) and chestnuts (reserve a few for garnish); cook 5 minutes, or until mushrooms are tender. Add cognac with pancetta-shallot mixture.
  4. Tie together bay leaf, sage, and thyme; add to mushroom mixture, along with chicken stock. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and gently simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Remove pancetta and herb bundle from soup; discard herbs. Cut up and brown the pancetta to use as a garnish (optional).
  6. Working in batches, transfer soup to blender or food processor; puree until smooth. Be careful with the hot liquids.
  7. Return soup to saucepan over low heat. Stir in half-and-half and cook just until heated through (do not boil). Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  8. To serve, ladle hot soup into bowls and top with reserved chopped chestnuts,  thyme and piece of fried pancetta. Serve immediately.

Original Recipe:: http://www.oprah.com/food/Chestnut-Soup#ixzz1gwBBHONm

What I changed from original recipe:

  • replaced butter with olive oil
  • added gourmet dried mushrooms (porcini, shiitake, yellow boletes, oyster)
  • used low sodium chicken stock
  • used 1/3 cup more of celery root
  • used 1/3 cup more of shallots

Soup Mistress Rating for Chestnut Mushroom Soup:

Healthy (+ slimming + low sodium): (3.5/5)
Presentation: (4/5) 
Taste: (4.5/5) 

Related posts:

  1. Pumpkin Coconut Soup Perfect for Thanksgiving Dinner Starter
  2. Six Mushroom Soup – A Meatless Meaty Soup

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