Chestnut-Mushroom Soup with Pancetta

As a tradition we organize a Christmas dinner every year the weekend before Christmas with five girlfriends including their partners. This year we decided to prepare the dinner ourselves instead of going out to a restaurant. That was a perfect decision; we all prepared the perfect Christmas dinner with six tasty courses!! Many restaurants would have been jealous of the high quality that was served on that lovely Christmas table. I made the soup and my friends wanted to have the recipe, so here it is!! Of course too late to prepare for this Christmas but you can make it anytime of course, it is a real winter dish. And keep it in mind for your next Christmas dinner; you really make a good show serving this soup!!

What do you need for 6 persons of my “Christmas Soup”?

  • Frying pan
  • Big Steal pan
  • Blender
  • Kitchen paper
  • Bowls or deep plates: 6 for serving
  • Chestnut mushrooms: 500 gr
  • Shiitake: 200 gr
  • Cooked chestnuts: 250 gr (vacuum packed), roughly chopped
  • Sweet union: 1 pieces cut in pieces
  • Herb stock: 1 liter
  • Sour cream: 125 ml (Dutch: Crème fraîche)
  • Pancetta: 100 gr
  • Olive oil: 2 tablespoons
  • Thyme: 4 fresh strings, only the leave
  •  Salt & Pepper
  • Optional but I really recommend it: truffle paste (get it a deli), 1 teaspoon per serving

Tip: I never cooked with chestnuts before, so that was new to me. You can get the chestnuts cooked and packed vacuum in a serving of 500 gr. Because I made this soup for 12 persons, I could use the whole packing! 

How to make this Chestnut-Mushroom Soup?

Clean the mushrooms and shiitake with a piece of kitchen paper. Cut all in slices. Keep 1/5 of the mushrooms and shiitake aside to garnish. Heat up the frying pan and use 1 tablespoon of oil and fry the  union for about 4-5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and shiitake and fry all for about 3-4 minutes; keep stirring. Take the big steal pan and put it up the heater, put the content of the frying pan into the big steal pan and add the thyme and chopped chestnuts. Stir well and add the herb stock to the all the ingredients. Bring it slowly to boil and leave it for another 15 min cooking on a low fire.

During the cooking the soup; clean the frying pan with more kitchen paper and bake the pancetta for a several minutes till gold brown and crispy. Take the pancetta out of the pan and let it dry and soak on more kitchen paper. Fry the remainder of the mushrooms and shiitake with the last olive oil till the water comes out for about 3-4 minutes; season with salt and pepper. Cut the fried pancetta in small slices.

Tip:  If you are vegetarian you can skip the pancetta of course, but then use the truffle to add a more salty taste to the soup. 

Use the blender to puree the soup and when ready stir the sour cream (crème fraîche) through the soup till all is absorbed. Season the soup with salt and pepper. Divide the soup in the bowls or deep plates and finish with the fried mushrooms and shiitake, pancetta and some thyme. And optional which is really nice the truffle paste!!!

Tip: I prepared this soup couple of hours before I left for my dinner, I took everything with me in boxes and the big frying pan which I hold tight with a belt around it; this way it didn’t leak!! When it was my turn I only had heat up the soup and fry the mushrooms and shiitake and start plating. Preparing is everything!!

How delicious is this “Christmas” soup?!?! 


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