Look for bottled chestnuts in specialty or gourmet markets. For less mess, puree in the pan with a handheld immersion blender.
2 (8-ounce) packages cremini mushrooms, stemmed and quartered
1 (3.5-ounce) package shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
1 (3.5-ounce) package oyster mushrooms, sliced
3 tablespoons minced shallots
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1 garlic clove, minced
3 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
3 cups water
1 cup bottled chestnuts
2 thyme sprigs
3 tablespoons light sour cream
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
2 slices applewood-smoked bacon, cooked and crumbled
How to Make It
Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add mushrooms; sauté 15 minutes or until liquid evaporates. Add shallots; sauté 1 minute. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt and garlic; sauté 1 minute. Remove 1/2 cup mushroom mixture; set aside. Add broth, 3 cups water, chestnuts, and thyme to pan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; discard thyme.
Place half of broth mixture in a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters). Blend until smooth. Pour into a large bowl. Repeat procedure with remaining broth mixture. Stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, sour cream, and black pepper. Sprinkle with reserved mushroom mixture and bacon.
I first made this recipe for Thanksgiving when it appeared in the magainze in 2007. Since then, the entire extended family has demanded that I make it for every Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner plus various family gatherings.
I make it with vegetable broth and don't add the bacon, which might be why the chestnut flavor that makes this soup distinctive is so discernible. After experimenting a bit, I've found I prefer to use the cremini mushrooms for the blended soup and saute the mixed "exotic" mushrooms separately to use as the "reserved" mixture that is added at the end.
The soup is even better made early in the day or even the day before up through the blending portion, refrigerated and then reheated with the final ingredients added just prior to serving (very useful for holiday meals).
Excellent and interesting soup. I used one cup less water and pureed it only to the chunky stage, for more mushroom texture. I didn't think the sour cream was needed, and actually detracted for me from the flavor.
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