Cream-free Arcadian Chestnut Soup

A rich, velvety soup using chestnuts as the main ingredient that makes an excellent starter for a holiday dinner.


Preparation & Cooking time: 75'

Serves: 6

INGREDIENTS

  • 800 gr chestnuts, boiled, peeled and mashed (you will need to buy 1.2 kg fresh chestnuts in their shells. Alternatively, you can purchase ready-boiled chestnuts)
  • 2 onions, finely diced
  •  2 l strong, homemade chicken stock (the stock needs to be rich to prevent the soup from being too sweet)
  • 200 gr fresh mushrooms of your choice, stems removed and well wiped with a wet cloth (the chef uses shitake, and wild mushrooms give the best flavor but any variety can be used)
  • 2 tbsps fresh thyme, finely chopped or 1½ tsp dried thyme, crushed
  • 100 ml dry white wine
  • 60 ml olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 250 gr yogurt, strained

INSTRUCTIONS

In a medium-size pot, heat 40 ml of the olive oil over medium heat, add the chestnuts and onions, and sauté for 3-4 minutes, until golden. Add the wine, let it evaporate for 2-3 minutes, and stir in the stock. Season with salt, pepper and half the thyme, and let it simmer for about 35 minutes.

Remove from the stove and purée until creamy, either in the pot using an immersion blender or in a traditional blender working in batches; this might take 4-5 minutes. For a perfectly smooth soup pass through a fine sieve. If the soup is too thick, add a little bit of stock and let it come to a boil. If it is too thin, just let it boil down until it reaches the desired consistency.

In the meantime, heat the rest of the olive oil on high heat and sauté the mushrooms for about 3-4 minutes, until they are nicely browned and all their liquid has evaporated. Sprinkle with the rest of the thyme, season with salt and pepper, and remove from the heat.

To serve: Ladle into soup bowls and top with sautéed mushrooms. Place a dollop of yogurt in the center and serve.


Read More

Editor's Pick

How to Buy Olive Oil

What to choose the best oil and how to preserve...


Athens

Pork in Lemon Sauce with Allspice

The fresh lemon juice and allspice make all the difference...


Athens

Commemorating Liberation

The celebration of the 71st anniversary of the liberation of...


Greece Is Blog Posts

Hail Hydra: A Midwinter Weekend on the Saronic Isle

BY Anthony Grant

“I do.” No, there was no matrimonial interrogation...

read more >

Zen and the Art of Driving in Greece

BY Pavlos Zafiropoulos

When I was first learning to drive, my...

read more >

Autumn in Pylos: An Expat’s View of the Battle of Navarino Re-Enacted

BY Hayley Prokos

On a balmy Saturday night in late October,...

read more >