wild mushroom and roasted chestnut soup

I love fall season! I miss those autumny days in Poland when it is already getting a little bit colder but the sun is still shining. It’s perfect to jump into some warm clothes and go for a long walk in a park full of golden leafs. I used to love it, and well, I still do! But my favorite thing to do was to go with my grandfather to the forest to pick some mushrooms (and by some I mean big buckets full of them:). I remember we had to get up very early in the morning, take a bus that left us at the beginnig of one of the many forests that surround my home city, and spend hours there looking for fresh mushrooms…I think these are one of the earliest memories I have from my childhood. I remember how proud I felt when my grandfather patted me on the back saying what a good eye I have for finding big, beautiful mushrooms. After a few hours of walking we used to sit on some fallen tree, with my grandfather pulling out sandwiches and hot tea in a thermos and while having a break we stood there admiring what “treasures” we had found. It was so peaceful there, the morning fog still suspended in the air (which gives that mysterious touch to my memories), and I remember that smell of the forest so well…After the morning in the forest my grandmother would prepare pan fried mushrooms with onions and cream and the rest we would dry for winter. Since then I’m crazy about the taste of wild mushrooms. Even here, in Portugal, I have a big bag full of dried mushrooms from Poland. And since it’s chestnut season here I decided to combine them with mushrooms and make a soup with those earthy, autumny flavours. It was DELICIOUS!

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WILD MUSHROOMS & ROASTED CHESTNUT SOUP WITH ROSEMARY

Ingredients (8-10 servings)

150-200g dried wild mushrooms

400g white mushrooms, thinly chopped

2 medium leeks, thinly chopped

2 cups roasted and peeled chestnuts, roughly chopped

1 big carrot, thinly chopped

1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary

200 ml cream

4 tbsp butter

1,5l chicken broth

500ml hot water

1 tbsp olive oil

2 laurel leafs

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Recipe

Cover the dried mushrooms with hot water in a bowl and set aside for about 20 minutes. Drain and chop the mushrooms, save the water, you will need it later. In a pot, melt the butter, add the olive oil, wild mushrooms, white mushrooms, leeks, carrot and rosemary. Cook, stirring from time to time, about 10-15 minutes. Add the chestnuts, water from draining the mushrooms and chicken broth. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Bring to a boil and cook in a low heat until the chestnuts are soft, about 30-40 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the cream. When it cools a bit, blend for a smooth and creamy consistency. Serve with a splash of extra virgin olive oil, chopped chestnuts or sautéed fresh mushrooms. Enjoy – especially in rainy, autumn days like this 🙂

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