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