A few days ago, I’ve come across a variety of chestnut soups both online and in some cookbooks. In most cases, the chestnuts were paired with mushrooms, but I’ve also spotted some soups which combined the former with cauliflower, parsnips, or even lentils (such as this one). I never thought of using this ingredient in a soup before, but it seemed perfectly logical to do that, as chestnuts, when puréed, are extremely velvety. So, hereby follows my version of a chestnut and mushroom soup, and all I can tell you is that, if you happen to make it and never tasted a chestnut soup before, you’ll be surprised by how good and delicate it is. The mushrooms add some depth, balancing the natural sweetness of the chestnuts, and the whole thing just tastes like autumn. I bet I will be making this again in the meantime, as chestnuts have now invaded the markets and are begging to being used in a whole range of preparations. They’re delicious by their own, simply roasted with coarse seal salt, but you can also enjoy them not only in soups and savoury dishes, but in sweet treats as well, such as puddings and pies (I’ve made a chestnut pie one of these days and thoroughly enjoyed it). Fall is definetely my favorite season, mostly because of its fresh produce, which I absolutely love – pumpkins and squashes, brussel sprouts, beetroots, apples, persimmons… – but also because of its cold, yet sunny, days.
Chestnut and Mushroom Soup
1 medium sized onion, finely chopped
½ teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced
2 cups (175 g) cremini mushrooms, laminated
1 cup (190g) peeled roasted chestnuts (store bought is fine)*
3 ½ cups (875 ml) vegetable stock
fresh parsley, for garnish
1. In a pot over medium heat, add the onion, rosemary and one or two teaspoons of olive oil. Sauté until the onion has softened.
2. Add the mushrooms and the chestnuts to the pot and cook for 5 minutes, or until the mushrooms have released their juices.
3. At this point, add the stock and a pinch of salt and bring the soup to a boil. Decrease the heat to a low-medium and let the soup simmer for additional 5 minutes.
4. Transfer the soup to a blender and purée until it’s totally smooth and creamy. Have taste and add a little more salt if needed.
5. Serve immediately, garnished with a few parsley leaves.
*If you want to roast the chestnuts yourself, do the following: pre-heat the oven to 180ºC. Make a small incision with a knife into each individual chestnut. Put the chestnuts in a baking tray, sprinkle them with sea salt, and cook in the oven for about 30 minutes. Once the chestnuts are cooked, peel their skins – the peeling process is easier if the chestnuts are still warm.