We are starting new group cook-a-long on Slow Travel. Previously we baked from Dolce Italiano and made ice cream from The Perfect Scoop. This time we are making soup. Our group is called the Sunday Slow Soupers.
Logo by KHB
The first soup was selected by Amy at Destination Anywhere . It was a perfect and just in time for Thanksgiving.
It was very easy to make. The hardest thing is to find and prepare the chestnuts. I lucked out and had a package of freeze dried chestnuts that I had purchased at Pasta and Company here in Seattle. They are organic Spanish chestnuts from Sierra Rica.
The soup went together in a snap. First soak dried porcini in hot water. Don't you like the name of our local gourmet mushroom company - Fungus Among Us?
Next saute a classic mirepoix mixture - celery, carrot and onion (or in this case shallot). Add herbs and broth. Strain the mushrooms and add both the soaking broth and soaked mushroom. Oh and don't forget the chestnuts.
Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes - puree - serve. Yum! Thanks Amy for an excellent recipe.
Chestnut and Porcini Soup
Serving: 6-7 cups
1/3 cup dried porcinis
1 1/2 cups hot water
1 medium carrot, diced
1 celery, diced
2 large shallots or ¼ small onion, finely chopped
1 sprig each of bay leaf, thyme and parsley
2 tablespoons butter
2 cans low-sodium chicken broth (or 4 cups homemade) or vegetable broth
1 1/4 pounds coarsely chopped peeled roasted chestnuts or 8-12 ounces bottled/canned/defrosted chestnuts. You want between a cup and 1 1/2 cups chestnuts.
2 tablespoons dry sherry, or white wine, or cognac
Creme fraiche or a swirl of heavy cream, for garnish
chopped parsley for garnish
1. Put porcini mushrooms and the hot water in medium bowl. Let stand until porcini mushrooms soften, about 20 minutes.
2. In a large saucepan melt butter and add carrots, celery, and shallots or onions. Saute until tender. Add herbs and chicken broth.
3. Using slotted spoon, transfer porcini mushrooms into saucepan with chicken broth. Add porcini-soaking liquid to saucepan, carefully leaving sediment behind in bowl (I like to pour it through cheesecloth) . Add chestnuts and a few grinds of pepper. Bring to boil, reduce heat cover and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove herbs before pureeing.
4. Working in batches, puree soup in a blender until smooth, then return soup to the saucepan. Or, just use an immersion blender, being careful to keep it at the bottom of the pot to avoid hot splatters. You may want to add a bit more water or stock if it’s too thick. You want a light soup, with the consistency of milk. Add Sherry, wine or cognac to taste. Bring soup to simmer, correct seasonings adding salt and pepper, to taste. Cool slightly and refrigerate. Can be prepared 2 days ahead or frozen. Re-warm over medium heat, stirring well to recombine if its separated.
Ladle soup into bowls, garnish with a spoonful of crème fraiche, or drizzle a bit of heavy cream in a spiral. Just a touch of parsley for color is nice.