Mushroom Soup with Chestnuts and Roasted Fennel

Total Time:
2 hr
40 min
1 hr 20 min

12 servings

  • 6 small fennel bulbs, stalks removed, halved lengthwise
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 bunch fresh thyme sprigs, leaves stripped from the stem
  • 1 pound white button mushrooms, wiped of grit and coarsely chopped
  • 1 pound oyster mushrooms, wiped of grit and coarsely chopped
  • 1 pound chanterelle mushrooms, wiped of grit and coarsely chopped
  • 1 pound cooked chestnuts
  • 3 quarts chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Fresh chopped chives, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Put the fennel halves, cut-side up, in a baking dish and drizzle with enough olive oil to come up half-way; season with a generous amount of salt and pepper. Roast for 30 minutes or until completely tender – the roasted fennel is the base of the soup, so it's important the flesh is soft enough to be cut with a spoon.

In a large pot, melt the butter over medium flame; add the onion and garlic, saute for 4 minutes until translucent. Toss the thyme into the pan, along with the mushrooms; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, for 10 to 15 minutes, until the mushrooms give off their liquid. Add the chestnuts and cook for a few more minutes until they have some nice color on them. Remove about 1 cup of the mixture to save as a garnish for the soup.

Pour the stock into the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes, stirring now and then. Remove from the heat and puree the soup until completely smooth, using a handheld or regular blender. Stir in the cream to make the soup even richer, and simmer gently for 5 minutes. Taste for salt and pepper.

To serve: Ladle the soup into soup bowls; garnish each serving with a bit of the reserved mushrooms and chestnuts, the roasted fennel, and a sprinkle of chopped chives.

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