Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Day 19 Dinner - Chestnut-Mushroom Soup with Crispy Kale

I really adore a hot bowl of soup in the winter time, so I will probably end up posting a lot of soup recipes in the months to come!  This one was inspired by an very rich and decadent "Silver Palate" recipe that we made for Thanksgiving.  My version is much simpler and contains no cream, so enjoy a nice, big bowl without any inhibition! 

For the mushrooms, I used a lovely Hazel Dell Farms medley which contained trumpets, cinnamon caps, crimini, and maybe more.  You can use whatever your mushroom-loving heart desires!  Serve the soup with a big slice of whole-grain bread with a little butter and sea salt and you've got yourself a hearty, flavorful meal to snuggle up to on a snowy winter's eve. 

Chestnut-Mushroom Soup with Crispy Kale
serves 4

1 T plus 1 tsp olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
2 cups mixed, fresh mushrooms, stems removed and chopped
7 oz. roasted chestnuts
6 cups homemade chicken or vegetable stock, or water
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 T salt
2 T butter (optional)
1 bunch kale, stems removed

In a large saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat.  Add onions, celery and mushrooms and saute until soft, about 7 minutes.  Add chestnuts and saute for two more minutes.  Add stock, thyme and salt and bring soup to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer soup for about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the crispy kale.  Preheat oven to 350.  Tear up the kale leaves into bite-sized pieces and toss with 1 teaspoon of olive oil and salt to taste.  Arrange in a single layer on two baking sheets (or one large) and bake until leaves barely start to brown, about 10 minutes.

Just before serving, add the butter to the soup and stir until melted.  Serve soup with kale on top or on the side (we like to do both!).

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