Porcini-and-Chestnut Soup

This creamy, rich soup is not exactly one for your diet days but then – it is all a question of portion. Be that as it may, it is certainly worth sinning for!

Like in most of my posts this recipe is making use of seasonal ingredients from the market.

Sanni

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Ingredients (for 4 starter portions):

  • 200 grams of chestnuts (whole chestnuts from the market, alternatively ca. 125 grams of kitchen-ready chestnuts)
  • 20 grams of dried porcini
  • ca. 250 ml of water for soaking
  • 150 grams of fresh porcini (Steinpilze)
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 3 to 4 stems of fresh oregano
  • 25 grams of butter
  • 100 ml of sherry
  • 100 ml of white wine
  • approx. 200 ml of wild mushroom stock
  • 100 ml of water
  • 250 grams of cream
  • freshly ground pepper and salt

Preparation:

  1. Roast the chestnuts as follows: Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (fan oven). Cut the little tips of the chestnuts with a pair of scissors, then use a sharp knife to make a cross-shaped cut at the tip of the chestnuts that reaches down to the flesh of the nut. Place the chestnuts on an oven-tray and roast in the oven for approx. 25 to 30 minutes.
  2. At the end of the roasting time, take the chestnuts out of the oven and let cool down a bit. Peel off the shell while still warm. Peel off both the outside and the entire inside shell. Set aside. (You may also do the roasting on the previous day. In this case, keep the cooled down chestnuts in a sealed container in order for them to remain fresh.
  3. Soak the dried porcini in water for approx. 20 minutes until altogether soft. Remove from the water, than strain the soaking water through a sieve lined with paper towel into a container and set aside.
  4. Clean the fresh porcini and cut them into slices. Set aside approx. 30 to 50 grams for later use.
  5. Cut the chestnuts into slices. Set aside a small portion for later use.
  6. Separate the oregano leaves from the stems. Wash them and set aside a few leaves for decoration.
  7. Heat up 15 grams of the butter in a heavy-based pot over medium heat and let it melt. Do not let the butter go brown.
  8. Fry the shallot for about one minutes, then add the oregano and the dried porcini and continue frying for two minutes while stirring constantly. Regularly remove any browned bits from the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon. Add first the chestnuts and then the fresh porcini (in each case except the portion set aside for later use). Fry for another one to two minutes while stirring. Make sure that the ingredients do not burn or brown too much.
  9. Add the sherry and scrape off all of the browned bits that you may not yet have removed and should easily resolve in the liquid. (The browned bits actually produce a lot of flavor! However, you should not fry your ingredients on too high heat, and they should by no means taste or smell burned.).
  10. Reduce the sherry until creamy. Then add the wine and reduce as well until creamy.
  11. Fill up the soaking water with mushroom stock until you have 400 ml of liquid. Add to the ingredients, and also add another 100 ml of water and the cream. Let simmer in the open pot for around 20 to 25 minutes while stirring every now and then until the soup has a nice creamy consistency. Season with freshly ground pepper and salt.
  12. Puree the soup using a blender/hand blender. Keep warm without further boiling it.
  13. Finely chop the chestnuts that you have set aside earlier. Heat up the remaining butter in a non-stick frying pan on medium heat. Fry the porcini and the chestnuts together until soft and nicely browned, season with freshly ground pepper.
  14. Ladle the soup into pre-heated soup dishes and place the fried porcini and chestnuts in the middle of the dish. Decorate with a few leaves of fresh oregano. Enjoy!

The soup can remain refrigerated for approx. one to two days or be kept in the freezer.

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