Caramelized Mushroom and Roasted Chestnut soup is one of those things that I absolutely love to make and eat, especially during the Autumn months. Mushrooms and chestnuts are so delicious and meaty flavored and they really satisfy me when I'm craving something a little denser and chewier than a normal vegetable soup . This bewitching blend is so easy to make and it's wonderfully earthy and fragrant! I think you’re going to love it!
I begin with 5 cups of mixed mushrooms and saute them in salted butter with 2 cups of minced onions and shallots until they are almost caramelized. If you can’t find a good mix of mushrooms, you can use Cremini or Bella , but if you can find a great selection of mixed mushrooms you’ll love the different flavors they impart. For an even deeper flavor, a mixture of fresh and reconstituted dry mushrooms can be absolutely delicious.
Once the mushrooms and onion are gently caramelized, I add about 10 cups of beef stock to the pot. Then I add a tablespoon of my favorite dried herb/spice blend (sage, thyme, tarragon, lovage, winter savory, cumin and marjoram) with more shallots, 2 cups of jarred roasted chestnuts and three tablespoons of pesto and let it all simmer for about ten minutes. After that, I take all of the cooked herbs, onions, chestnuts and all but ½ a cup of the mushrooms and put them into my vitamin or blender, give them a quick pulse until they are pureed and then add them back into the pot. A pint of half and half, ½ a cup of Madeira wine, a quick stir and 10 more minutes of simmering time and it's ready! You may find that you need to add more liquid and this is fine too.
I garnish this soup with several of the reserved sliced mushrooms, shredded gruyere, parsley, sea salt and black pepper, and then serve it with a crusty, toasted, buttered baguette, a simple salad with apples, red onion, vinaigrette and a bit of brie. Maybe a glass of white Bordeaux or a delicious cider too...