I found this recipe in Edible San Diego, a wonderful new magazine about local farms, markets and restaurants. It is featured in a profile of Patrick Ponsaty, Chef de Cuisine at Mistral, a restaurant overlooking San Diego Bay.
The original was not vegetarian, but with some adaptations is now a perfect “Opening” to our Christmas dinner. It would also make a great meal for those days after Christmas, when you want something hearty and hale. It’s certainly a creative way to use up any Chestnuts remaining from Christmas!
CHESTNUT & PORCINI SOUP
Makes 5-6 servings
1 yellow onion, medium dice
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 bouquet thyme
1 pound porcini mushrooms, cleaned and quartered
1 pound white mushrooms, cleaned and quartered
4 ounces white wine
9 ounces chestnuts
42 ounces vegetable stock
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon black truffle oil
4 ounces heavy cream
1 sprig cilantro, for garnish
In a medium stockpot, sweat onions in olive oil until translucent, then add chopped garlic and thyme. Add ⅓ of mushrooms and cook them until sweated out. Repeat with the next ⅓ and the next ⅓ until all mushrooms are cooked.
Once mushrooms have evaporated and have started to caramelize, deglaze with white wine. After all alcohol in wine has evaporated add chestnuts. Cover with chicken stock and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer. Cook for 30–45 minutes.
Remove from heat and add truffle oil. Place small amounts in a blender, add a splash of cream each time and blend until smooth. Repeat this process until all is blended. Use a whisk to mix all the batches together.
Check for seasoning and serve hot. Garnish with cilantro if desired.
Mistral is the signature restaurant at Loews Coronado Bay Resort.