Creamy and flavourful Mushroom and Chestnut Soup
This Mushroom and Chestnut Soup is just the ticket on those cold, grey January days when you need a bowl of warming comfort food. It uses a combination of fresh and dried mushrooms which gives it an added depth of flavour. These are combined with sweet chestnuts which are a great flavour partner for mushrooms and also thicken the soup and give it a creamy texture – with no added cream!
You can use any kind of fresh mushrooms for this soup. I generally use a combination of the big, flat capped-mushrooms which have a strong flavour and smaller button mushrooms. The addition of the dried mushrooms, which are one of my favourite ingredients, is what really makes this soup special. They add a deep, savoury umami flavour which underpins that of the fresh mushrooms. Dried mushrooms are available in lots of supermarkets. I get mine from Tesco, which does great own-brand dried Porcini mushrooms but all major supermarkets have equivalent products and Merchant Gourmet also produces dried mixed mushrooms. You don’t need to add very many dried mushrooms to a dish – think of them as a condiment or flavouring – but they will have a major impact on the taste.
Ready-prepared sweet chestnuts can be found in most supermarkets. Merchant Gourmet produces a range of chestnut-products, including chestnut puree and whole chestnuts. There is no need to roast your own! Although traditionally associated with Christmas, I use sweet chestnuts throughout the autumn and winter, often combined with mushrooms, in soups, pies and sauces.
This soup resulted from me trying to find ways to use the flavour combination in my Mushroom and Chestnut Pies. I also developed a Creamy Mushroom Pasta sauce using the same ingredients which I use all the time, and is very popular with my children.
Here at Tastebotanical we have lots of other recipes for tasty, warming winter soups. What about Beetroot and Coconut Soup? Or Butternut Squash with Peanut Butter or Easy Pumpkin and Sweetcorn Soup? There is tasty Fennel Soup, with its subtle aniseed flavour, and classic Leek and Potato Soup. Vegetable soups are very easy to make and are a fantastic way to increase the amount of fresh vegetables that you eat each day. They are packed with fibre, nutrients and, of course, taste!Print
This comforting winter soup has a fantastic, deep mushroom taste due to the addition of dried mushrooms, and creamy texture from the addition of chestnuts.
- 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
- 2 onions
- 3 sticks of celery
- 10 g dried mushrooms
- Half a teaspoon dried thyme (or 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme)
- 500 g fresh mushrooms (any kind)
- 2 cloves of garlic (crushed)
- 500 ml vegetable stock
- 180 g of whole, roasted chestnuts (such as Merchant Gourmet)
- Approximately 500 ml milk (or nut milk)
- 25 g butter (or vegan alternative) and 1 tablespoon of plain flour (optional)
- Heat the oil in a large heavy-based pan
- Peel and chop the onion and slice the celery sticks finely. Add to the pan together with the dried mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. If you are using dried thyme, add it at this stage.
- Cook very gently for around 15 minutes until the vegetables are soft and sweet. Slow cooking caramelises the natural sugars in the vegetables and greatly improves the flavour of the soup.
- Chop the fresh mushrooms and add to the pan together with the crushed garlic cloves. Cook for a further ten minutes.
- Add the vegetable stock to the pan and bring to the boil.
- As soon as the soup has boiled, take the pan off the heat and add the chestnuts.
- Allow the soup to cool slightly and then blend until smooth using a food processor or hand-held blender.
- Add the milk (or nut milk) to thin the soup to your desired consistency. If using fresh thyme, add it at this stage. Gently re-heat the soup.
- If you wish, you can make a beurre manie which will thicken the soup and give it a creamier, silkier texture. To do this, you should mix a little plain flour with some softened butter to make a paste and add it to the soup and heat gently until it thickens.
Keywords: mushroom, chestnut, soup
This recipe has been shared on #CookBlogShare at Every Day Healthy Recipes