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Soaking dried porcini mushrooms is key to this soup. The liquid is a beautiful deep brown color and lends ton of flavor.

Mushroom Soup with Chestnut and Cashew Cream

A hearty and healthy warming soup loaded with umami — yum! I like sauteing two kinds of fresh mushrooms (many locally sourced) for a nice flavor contrast; shiitake and cremini. Vegan and Gluten-Free

Soaking dried porcini mushrooms is key to this soup. The liquid is a beautiful deep brown color and lends ton of flavor.

Soaking dried porcini mushrooms is key to this soup. The liquid is a beautiful deep brown color and lends ton of flavor.


⅓ cup raw cashews, soaked in water to cover overnight

½ ounce dried porcini mushrooms

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided

1 pound fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded, cleaned

1 pound fresh cremini mushrooms, stems trimmed, cleaned

¼ cup leeks, white & light greens, cleaned and chopped

¼ cup shallots, peeled and chopped

1 tablespoon fresh garlic, peeled and chopped (about 2 medium cloves)

¼ teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper

½ teaspoon sea salt, (will depend on the saltiness of the broth)

1 tablespoon tomato paste

⅛ teaspoon marash pepper, or crushed chili peppers

2 tablespoons dry sherry

1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, stemmed and chopped

½ cup roasted and peeled chestnuts, cooked, about 8

4 ½ cups vegetable stock, preferably home made, divided



Place the dried porcini mushrooms in a 2 cup pyrex measuring cup and add 1 1/2 cups of boiling water. Set aside for 30 minutes.
Strain the mushrooms through sheets of cheesecloth or through a coffee filter. Rinse the mushroom in cool water to remove any dirt. Blot with paper towels, then slice 1/4 thick.  Set aside the mushrooms and porcini “broth”.


In a heavy, 3 quart pot add 1 1/2 T. olive oil and sauté the shiitake mushrooms over medium-high heat, stirring until lightly browned. Remove the mushrooms to a bowl. Repeat with the remaining 1 1/2 T. olive oil and porcini mushrooms.


When the second batch is golden, add back the reserved shiitake mushrooms. Add the leeks, shallots and garlic. and soaked porcini mushrooms (from the first step). Lower the heat to medium and stir one minute. Add the next 6 ingredients (pepper through sherry).


Crumble 1/2 of the chestnuts (about 4), add to the pot with 3 1/2 cups vegetable broth and 1 1 /2cups reserved porcini “broth”. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, covered for 20 minutes.


Cashew- Chestnut Cream:
Meanwhile, strain the water from the cashews and discard. In a small pot, add the cashews, remaining 1/4 cup chestnuts (about 4) and the remaining 1 cup broth.
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer, covered for 10 minutes. Place contents in a blender and process until very smooth.


To serve:
Taste for seasonings.
Add the cashew-chestnut cream to the pot, or save a few tablespoons of the cream, and serve the soup with some cream swirled on top of the soup.
Garnish with chopped flat leaf parsley leaves.


This recipe can be made up to 3 days prior to serving.
Can be doubled or tripled.


For an extra touch:
Clean 3 medium sized chanterelle mushrooms. Slice them, and sauté a minute until just golden. Season with a pinch of salt and garnish the finished soup with them.

This recipe may not be reproduced without the consent of its author, Karen Sheer.

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