Local Food and Seasonal Ingredients

Chestnut Soup Viennese Mélange

By Seth Fera-Schanes

This recipe is by Kurt Gutenbrunner, Wallse, 344 W 11th Street New York NY 10014.

For the Prunes
1/2 cup Armagnac or Cognac 8 whole pitted prunes 1/2 cup water

For the Mushroom Juice
12 ounces button mushrooms

For the Porcini Mushrooms
2 dried porcini mushrooms or other flavorful dried mushrooms

For the Soup
1 pound fresh chestnuts
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium-size celery root, peeled and diced
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup Armagnac or Cognac
4 cups chicken stock
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups skim milk
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 fresh black truffle, optional
8 parsley leaves

Procedure for the Prunes
To make the Armagnac prunes, start early in the day or the night before. In a saucepan, mix 1/2 cup of water and the 1/2 cup of Armagnac or Cognac. Add prunes, and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat, cover and let steep 6 hours or overnight. Prunes can be kept in an airtight jar at room temperature until ready for use.

Procedure for the Mushroom Juice
To make the mushroom juice, wash the mushrooms, put them in a saucepan, cover with water and simmer for one hour. Strain, and them discard mushrooms. There should be a cup or more of mushroom juice. Refrigerate if not using immediately.

For the Porcini Mushrooms
To make the porcini powder, place dried mushrooms in a blender or coffee grinder, and pulverize. Store in an airtight container until ready for use.

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