You can use frozen chestnuts for this dish if you like. If you do, cook them longer to allow time for them to thaw. There are carbohydrates, minerals, B vitamins (lots of B9), and loads of fiber in this soup. Moreover, chestnuts contain no gluten.
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- 2 shallots
- 3 stalks celery
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 slices bacon
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon peppercorns
- 2 quarts chicken stock
- 12 ounces porcini mushrooms
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon black pepper, ground
- 2 1/2 pounds chestnuts, peeled
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 250°F.
- Peel and cut the shallots and celery into large chunks. Peel the 3 garlic cloves.
- Heat a flameproof casserole dish and put in 2 slices of bacon 1/8-inch thick. Color well on both sides, then take them out and keep hot.
- Add the chunks of shallot and celery and the whole garlic cloves to the bacon fat. Stir for 1 to 2 minutes. Add 2 1/2 pounds of peeled chestnuts to the casserole dish. Sweat for 3 minutes, stirring.
- Take out about 20 of them and set aside. Then add a bay leaf and the peppercorns. Add the chicken stock and put the casserole dish in the oven for 45 minutes.
- In the meantime, clean the mushrooms. Slice the caps of 2 firm mushrooms into thin slices and keep cold on a plate covered with plastic wrap. Chop the rest into small dice.
- Blend the soup thoroughly. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding salt and freshly ground black pepper. Keep hot. Cut the two slices of bacon into fine lardons and cut the 20 reserved chestnuts into quarters.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a sauté pan and brown the chestnuts for 2 minutes. Add the diced mushrooms, salt lightly, and cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add the small lardons, stir, and adjust the seasoning. Put this garnish in the middle of each soup plate. Pour the hot soup around it. Sprinkle with mushroom slices and serve nice and hot.