Creamy, Earthy, Chestnut Soup

So I still have chestnuts in my freezer. Only a few now. A few weeks back I was gifted a giant box filled with chestnuts. I roasted them, made a soft, delicious, morbid (haha) cake, and I still had more than a few chillin’ (literally) in my freezer. It’s a cool, blustery, leaf-blowing day today so I decided to make some soup for dinner.

Thankfully, I already had most of the ingredients for this soup on-hand. I’m aware that most people don’t keep random shitake mushrooms on-hand. But alas, I had some dried ones in my cupboard. I don’t remember what they were originally intended to be used for. This soup was quick & easy. The thing that took the longest was that I didn’t have any vegetable stock, or chicken stock either for that matter on-hand. I know, random shitakes, no stock. So I had to crank out a quick one.

Creamy, Earthy, Chestnut Soup

4-6 servings

Ingredients:

  • about 2 tbsp EVOO
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped small
  • 1 carrot, chopped small
  • 1/2 a small white onion, chopped to the same size as celery & carrot
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (I used Black Garlic for an extra earthy note.)
  • 1 oz package dehydrated shitake mushrooms
  • 1/4 C dry white wine or sherry
  • 2 C chestnuts, roasted & shelled (directions for roasting here)
  • 1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 6 C vegetable stock or broth
  • 1 1/2 C half & half
  • Kosher salt & black pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. First, you will need to rehydrate your mushrooms. Here’s how: Put your dehydrated mushrooms in a glass bowl or large, glass measuring cup. Heat some water to boiling; you will need enough water to completely cover the mushrooms. I like to use my electric kettle. When the water is hot, pour it over the mushrooms making sure to cover them thoroughly. If any begin to float, put them down using a wooden spoon. Let the mushrooms soak for about 15-20 mins or until soft. Drain the mushrooms and reserve the soaking liquid for flavoring future soups, sauces, etc.
  2. When the mushrooms are rehydrated, chop them to roughly the same size as the carrots, celery, and onion. It doesn’t need to be perfect, since you will be pureeing the soup later.
  3. Heat EVOO in a large Dutch oven over medium heat.
  4. Add onion, celery, carrot, and garlic. Saute for 2-3 mins until the onion begins to become translucent. Add the mushrooms, and saute another 3-5 mins until mixture has softened.
  5. Pour in the wine/sherry, chestnuts, and spices. Combine well.
  6. Add the stock/broth. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook, covered, 20-30 mins or until the chestnuts have softened.
  7. Using an immersion blender, puree until smooth. Always use caution when pureeing/blending hot liquids, as they can splatter.  safety
  8. Pour in the half & half. Heat over low heat, while stirring until hot.
  9. Season to taste with Kosher salt & black pepper.
  10. Enjoy with crusty bread for dipping!

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