Chestnut and Mushroom Soup

Thanksgiving used to be simple, didn’t it?

I mean you had your turkey, stuffing/dressing, potatoes, green beans, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie, right?

Today, it isn’t always so simple – more and more of my friends and relatives have dietary restrictions  – gluten free, dairy free, reduced sodium, etc., etc. While the sheer number of dishes at most Thanksgiving spreads assures that everyone will find something to eat, I always feel a little bad for those who don’t eat turkey.

Since it’s generally the star of the meal, it seems like those who don’t eat turkey are kinda left out in the cold – relegated  to filling their plates with “side dishes” – and that is just not right. At all.

So, I’ve been playing with things that have a “meaty” flavor  that don’t  fall into the category of a “side dish”.  And no, a “tofu” turkey IS NOT the answer… I will do a lot of things for my vegetarian friends but THAT is not one of them!

Well, as they say, “this one’s for you” – a rich, decadent and  meaty soup  of chestnuts and mushrooms that’s laced with good Spanish Sherry and finished with a drizzle of truffle oil.

Chestnut and Mushroom SoupBC2 Chestnut and Mushroom Soup

This is definitely better than a tofu turkey, don’t you think??

Chestnut and Mushroom Soup
 
Prep time
Total time
 
I used the vacuum packed chestnuts from Melissa's. For this soup, using a good Spanish sherry is important - if it's too harsh it will impart that flavor into the soup. If you have chestnut honey, by all means use it - if not, any good honey works fine or you can substitute agave nectar. I noticed that I had to puree this soup longer than I normally do with other vegetable soups.
Serves: 6 - 8 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 - 6.5 oz. packaged cooked and peeled chestnuts
  • 1½ cups sliced cremini mushrooms
  • 3 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 large shallots, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 stock of celery, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • ¼ plus 2 Tbsp. good Spanish sherry
  • 4 - 6 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • ½ tsp. honey
  • salt
  • white pepper
  • ½ cup half and half
  • Garnish
  • ¼ cup minced cremini mushrooms
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 Tbsp. truffle oil
Instructions
  1. In a large saucepan, melt the 2 Tbsp. of butter over medium high heat. Add the mushrooms to the butter and cook without stirring until mushrooms are deep golden brown - about 4 - 5 minutes. Flip mushrooms and continue to cook until golden brown. Remove mushrooms from the pan and set aside. Melt the remaining tablespoon of butter in the pan over medium heat and add the shallots and garlic, cooking until softened, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms back to the pan and increase the heat to medium high. Add the sherry and cook, scraping up the bottom of the pan and cook until almost all the sherry has evaporated, about 3 minutes. Add the chestnuts, celery, thyme and stock. Bring to a boil, cover the pan and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for approximately 1 hour until chestnuts have softened. Let soup cool slightly and then puree in a food processor. - if the mixture is too thick, thin it down with a little vegetable stock. Return soup to the pan and re warm, seasoning with salt, pepper and the honey. Add the half and half and the remaining 2 Tbsp. sherry. Garnish with the cooked mushrooms, fresh thyme sprigs and a drizzle of truffle oil.
  2. For garnish: In a small saute pan heat the 1 Tbsp. butter over medium high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, without stirring for 3 - 4 minutes or until mushrooms are golden brown.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: approximately 4 oz.

Comments

  1. says

    This is the chestnut soup recipe I have been searching for – mine is too “nutty”. Printing it as I write this – so nice to have met you at WOR in October. Hope to see you at their December event…

  2. says

    I have been looking everywhere for a good soup recipe for Thanksgiving (one that isn’t pumpkin or butternut squash)! This is PERFECT and will definitely be on my table this year! I love coming to your blog – I ALWAYS find inspiration, beautiful photos and delicious recipes! :)

    • says

      Awww. Emily thank you!! That so made my day and my week!! I hope you enjoy the soup!!! The mushroom cappucino is also really good and not quite as rich as this one if you need another idea!!!

  3. says

    I haven’t had chestnuts in ages, but this soup sounds so wonderful! I’d love to try it, I love non-meat soups that have a rich flavour of their own.

  4. says

    Oh, Nancy, that is one stunning soup! Wow! Vegetarian or not, I’d gladly have a bowl of this….two of my favorite flavors in one soup. Just perfect!

  5. Grant says

    Sounds good! Been hunting for a nice mushroom and chestnut soup recipe (even though I know it’s completely not the season). I may just make my own, but use some of your ingredients as influence. I have some great truffle honey which sounds like it would be a perfect addition to the dish.

    Anyway, just as a heads up, it’s “stalk of celery” not “stock of celery”.

    • says

      Hi Grant!!

      Oooh, that honey sounds fabulous!! And you are so right, it definitely is “stalk” – ah…. spellchecker is not perfect – thanks for the catch!!!

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