Creamy Chestnut Soup with Porcini Mushrooms and Sauteed Root Vegetables
- 1/3 cup dried porcinis
- 2 cups hot water
- 1 medium carrot, diced
- 1 celery, diced
- 1 small parsnip, diced
- 2 large shallots, finely chopped
- 1 bouquet garni (1 sprig each of bay leaf, thyme and parsley)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 3 cups chicken stock or canned broth
- 1 1/4 pounds coarsely chopped peeled roasted chestnuts or 12 ounces bottled chestnuts
- 2 tablespoons dry Sherry
- Frizzled leeks, for garnish ( deep fry julienned strips of leek in 365 degree F oil)
- Creme fraiche, for garnish
Combine porcini mushrooms and 2 cups hot water in medium bowl. Let stand until porcini mushrooms, soften, about 15 minutes.
Using slotted spoon, transfer porcini mushrooms into saucepan with chicken broth. Add porcini-soaking liquid to saucepan, leaving sediment behind in bowl. Add chestnuts and salt and pepper. Bring to boil, reduce heat cover and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Working in batches, puree soup in blender until smooth, return soup to saucepan. Add Sherry. Bring soup to simmer, correct seasonings adding salt and pepper, to taste. Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cool slightly and refrigerate. Re-warm over medium heat before continuing.
Ladle soup into bowls. Top with vegetables, and garnish with leeks.