The chestnut very much takes a supporting role in this soup, but its presence is undeniable, pepping things up with an underlying creamy, nutty richness while the earthy flavour of mushroom and piney scent of rosemary are allowed to sing.
- Yield: 4 Servings
- 1½ Tbsp (20 g) butter
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 tsp finely chopped rosemary
- 5 large flat field mushrooms (about 400g/14oz), chopped
- 3⅓ cups (800 ml) vegetable stock
- 7 oz (200 g) cooked chestnut purée
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the Rarebits
- 4 small or 2 large slices wholegrain sourdough
- 2 Tbsp (25 g) butter, softened
- ½ tsp Dijon mustard
- 3 oz (80 g)Stilton or other blue cheese (opt for a vegetarian alternative if necessary)
- a splash of milk, if needed
How to Make It
- Put the 20 g [1½ Tbsp] butter and the oil in a large saucepan set over low heat and let the butter melt. Add the onion, garlic and rosemary and sauté gently for about 8 minutes until the onion is well softened. Add the mushrooms, turn up the heat a little and continue to cook for a further 5 minutes until the mushrooms are wilted and beginning to take on some colour.
- Add the vegetable stock to the pan and bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for a few minutes until everything is well cooked.
- Meanwhile, toast the bread for the rarebits in a toaster or under a grill [broiler]. Put the butter in a bowl and beat in the mustard, then crumble in the cheese and mix until well combined. Add a tiny splash of milk, if that helps bring it all together into a spreadable mixture, then spread the cheese over the toast. Set aside until you are ready to serve.
- Stir the chestnut purée into the soup, and transfer everything to a liquidizer. Blend until smooth, then taste and season well with salt and pepper.
- Just before serving, toast the rarebits under a hot grill for about 2 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbling and turning golden on top. Serve them with the soup for dipping.