Chestnuts + sage + mushroom are my ultimate autumn combo. They are the taste embodiment of autumn for me. This year I have been using chestnuts regularly. They are worked into pasta dishes; I stir chestnut puree through cream for desserts and this soup has been a weekly feature on a chilly evening.
A sage plant sits in a pot in my yard, sharing the earth with a nasturtium plant. I step out with scissors on a regular basis to snip a few leaves to work into a potato and garlic frittata, or to add to a pasta dish. I love its hefty, earthy, unapologetic flavour. It doesn’t stand back and hover in the background. It’s up front and centre, making you take notice whether you like it or not. I am probably very heavy handed with sage. I like to feel its presence.
This soup is a great balance of chestnut, sage and mushroom. The earthy mushrooms and sweetness of the chestnuts are lifted by the citrusy zing of the sage. It’s quick to put together too, so perfect for after work when you are in a hurry. You can substitute the cream for a vegan substitute to make a vegan version.
400g chestnut mushrooms, roughly chopped
½ red onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Handful of sage leaves, chopped
1 litre vegetable stock
100g cooked chestnuts
Pinch of nutmeg
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to season
In a pan, heat the olive oil, add the onion and sauté for about five minutes until softened.
Add the garlic and cook for another couple of minutes.
Add the mushrooms and sage and cook for about five minutes until they soften and release their juices.
Add the chestnuts, nutmeg and vegetable stock and simmer for 15 – 20 minutes.
Blend to a smooth consistency, add the cream and return to the heat to warm through.