Friday 22 September 2017

Spiced chestnut soup with hazelnut cream and white truffle

Ross Lewis

This is one of our finest soups and a marriage of two royal autumn ingredients: chestnuts and pheasant. Folded into these flavours are star anise, fennel, juniper berries and cardamom, giving deep, complex notes. The pheasant stock gives a slightly gamier flavour. The hazelnut cream and white truffle crown the flavours.

Serves 8

YOU WILL NEED

For the soup:

1 celery stick, sliced

½ leek, sliced

2 shallots, sliced

1 garlic clove, finely sliced

1 small sprig each fresh rosemary, thyme, sage and tarragon

125g butter

50g smoked bacon rind

1 star anise

15 fennel seeds

6 juniper berries

6 cardamom pods

2.5 litres pheasant stock (see last page)

600g chestnuts, cooked and peeled or vacuum packed

25ml Cabernet Sauvignon wine vinegar

200ml cream

60ml hazelnut oil

To serve:

4 cooked peeled chestnuts, vacuum packed

½ white truffle, optional

handful dried mushroom slices

2 tsp mushroom powder

METHOD

For the soup:

Sweat the celery, leek, shallots, garlic and herbs with the butter and bacon rind in a large pan until softened. Crush the spices together in a pestle and mortar and add to the sweated vegetables. Pour in the stock and bring to the boil, then add the chestnuts and simmer gently for 10 minutes.

Blitz in a food processor until smooth and pass through a chinois.

Finish with the wine vinegar and season.

For the hazelnut cream:

Salt and lightly whip the cream with the hazelnut oil. Heat the soup, being careful not to let it boil, and pour into heated serving bowls.

Spoon on a little of the hazelnut cream and then use a mandolin to shave over the chestnuts and the white truffle, if using. Finish with a sprinkling each of the dried mushrooms and mushroom powder.

Irish Independent

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