Chestnut & Wild Mushroom Soup with Smoked Bacon

4 December 2023 in Recipes

Chestnut & Wild Mushroom Soup with Smoked Bacon

Recipe: Chestnut & Wild Mushroom Soup with Smoked Bacon

Serves 8-10

Stock up on cans of vacuum-packed chestnuts, which are normally readily available in good delis, shops and large supermarkets at Christmas time. If you want to keep the soup vegetarian, garnish it with some sautéed mushrooms instead of the smoked bacon.


  • 50g (2oz) dried mixed wild mushrooms
  • 1 tbsp rapeseed oil 450g (1lb) peeled chestnuts, chopped (canned or vacuum packed)
  • 100g (4oz) smoked bacon, thinly sliced
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 1.2 litres (2 pints) chicken stock or vegetable stock
  • 200ml (7fl oz) cream
  • mushroom purée, to garnish
  • snipped fresh chives, to garnish
  • fresh micro herbs, to garnish


Place the dried wild mushrooms in a heatproof bowl and pour in 400ml (14fl oz) of boiling water to cover. Set aside for 20 minutes, until they have plumped up. Drain the mushrooms and gently squeeze them dry, reserving the soaking liquid.

Heat a large pan over a medium heat and add the rapeseed oil. Add the chestnuts, half of the smoked duck, the onion and drained wild mushrooms and sweat gently for 10 minutes, until golden brown, stirring occasionally. Season to taste.

Add the thyme to the pan with the reserved soaking liquid and stock, stirring to combine. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for another 20 minutes.

Stir in the cream and allow to heat through for 1 minute, then whizz with a hand blender until as smooth as possible. Season to taste, then blitz again with a hand blender until light and foamy, tilting the pan to get the maximum effect.

To serve, ladle the soup into warmed bowls. Garnish each one with the mushroom purée, reserved smoked bacon, chives and micro herbs.