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September 2002 BOSTON
Silky Chestnut and Porcini Mushroom Soup with Mostarda Fruits
Dante deMagistris, blu-Boston, MA
Adapted by StarChefs

Yield: 10 servings

Chestnuts are available Fresh dried, or canned. Porcini mushrooms can be found fresh, dried, or frozen. In this recipe I use canned chestnuts and dried porcini mushrooms. Canned chestnuts, dried porcini mushrooms, and mostarda fruits can be found in many specialty food markets.


  • 6 ounces dried porcini mushrooms
  • 4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil plus additional oil for frying sage
  • 2 large white onions, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic thinly sliced
  • 16 ounces canned chestnuts, drained and juices saved
  • 3/4 cup dry sherry wine
  • 3 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 3 quarts Chicken or vegetable stock
  • 30 fresh sage leaves, washed and dried
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped mostarda fruit

Put the mushrooms in a small bowl, cover with warm water, soak for 20 minutes. Remove the mushrooms and clean carefully to remove dirt. Set aside. Drain the juices through a fine strainer, coffee filter or cheesecloth and save for later.

Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until tender, about 7 minutes. Increase the heat to medium high. Add the chestnuts and cook until the ingredients begin to caramelize, about 5 minutes. Add the sherry and balsamic vinegar. Reduce by half. Add the stock, reserved mushroom juices, chestnut juices, cleaned porcini mushrooms and 10 sage leaves. Season with salt and pepper. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Carefully puree the soup in three batches in a blender adding a teaspoon of the remaining oil to each batch. The soup should be very smooth. Transfer the soup to a clean pot. Heat over medium heat, taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Serve the soup hot in a bowl with a teaspoon of the mostarda fruit and two crispy sage leaves scattered in each bowl.

For the sage garnish heat 1/4 inch olive oil in a medium sauté pan over medium heat, add the sage leaves and cook until crispy.