Tear into a fresh loaf of crusty sourdough and settle in with a bowl of this wholesome and comforting Porcini and Chestnut Soup. Julie Le Clerc's latest delicious creation presents warming winter flavours and textures — ideal for a night in. The umami from the porcini mingles beautifully with the earthy-sweetness of the Naiciña chestnuts, while onions, garlic, stock and herbs provide a strong anchor for the flavours of this dish.

Serves 4

20g Gigante porcini
2 cups boiling water
30ml extra virgin olive oil (EVO)
1 large onion, finely sliced
250g Portobello mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tsp fresh thyme leaves, picked off stems
500ml beef stock (or vegetable stock if preferred)
150g Naiciña chestnuts, coarsely crumbled
1 bay leaf
2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
2 tsp Sabato porcini powder
Freshly ground black pepper 

Place the porcini in a bowl; pour over the boiling water then set aside for 10 minutes to soften. Then roughly slice the porcini and reserve the liquid.

Meanwhile, heat EVO in a pot, add the onion and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring regularly, until soft. Add the sliced mushrooms, garlic, thyme and a little salt and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Pour in the stock, add the porcini and soaking liquid, the chestnuts and bay leaf. Bring to the boil then reduce heat to simmer for 5-10 minutes.

Add the parsley, porcini powder and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, to taste. Remove the bay leaf before serving.

Recipe by Le Clerc



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