Chestnuts, the delicacies of the forest, with their rich flavor, lift off every dish, savory or sweet. This soup with chestnuts, mushrooms and horseradish, will fill you and will warm you on winter days. The earthy flavor of the mushrooms and chestnuts blends perfectly with the accompanying spicy sauce made of goat cheese, radish and horseradish.
Chestnuts are a good source of essential amino acids, monounsaturated fat, vitamin C, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium, iron and potassium. They are rich in carbohydrate (45.5 g / 100 g) and fibers (8.1 g / 100 g), which makes them a low-glycemic index food, thereby maintaining low glucose levels in the blood. Their composition, low fat, no cholesterol, low in sodium, high in potassium, low in protein but of high quality with a good aminoacids ratio and a high percentage of polyunsaturated fats, make chestnuts a balanced food, high in nutrition and energy value. It is a complete food, ideal for growing children, for those recovering from various diseases and for athletes. Also, like all nuts, chestnuts help combat stress and fatigue and lower the bad cholesterol-LDL.
They contain several B vitamins necessary for metabolism, growth, energy and the formation of red blood cells. Specifically, it contains thiamine, which is necessary for the proper functioning of the nervous system, riboflavin and vitamin B6, which helps in the metabolism of nutrients, and folic acid. The B vitamins are found in foods that are rich in protein, such as meat, eggs and dairy products, but if you are a vegetarian you may want to include chestnuts in your diet to ensure that you get an adequate intake, a common concern for vegetarians and vegans.
Due to its high calorific value (100g contain 213 calories) many people avoid them, thus losing many of their nutrients. Compared, however, with other nuts, chestnuts have less calories; for example, walnuts contain 646 Kcal / 100 g, peanuts 596 Kcal / 100 g, almonds 591 Kcal / 100 g.
Mushrooms are an excellent food rich in high quality protein (so it can replace the meat and are an ideal food for vegetarians), fiber, vitamins, minerals, and have little caloric value because they contain small amounts of fat and carbohydrates. Specifically, mushrooms contain B vitamins, vitamin D (essential for calcium absorption), phosphorus, calcium, selenium, zinc, copper and potassium (and are low in sodium).
In the soup I used three kinds of mushrooms. The common, white, fresh mushrooms and two kinds of dried ones for more intense flavor, chanterelles and bolets (you can see photos of them here). You can use different kinds of fresh mushrooms, as long as they are about 500g total. It’s up to you.
I baked chestnuts in the oven, as I said in yesterday’s post. You can use boiled ones, as well.
Preparation time: 1 hour
Servings: 4, as a starter
- 450 g. (16oz) fresh mushrooms of your choice, sliced
- (0.7oz)dried mushrooms of your choice
- 120 g. (4.2oz) cooked chestnuts, chopped
- 70 g. (2.5oz) radishes
- 100 g. (3.5oz) goat cheese
- 1 liter vegetable stock
- 2 tablespoons buttermilk, 1.5% fat
- 3 medium green onions, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 4-5 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon horseradish sauce
- salt and pepper, to taste
- more radishes into thin slices, for decoration (optional)
- Soak dried mushrooms (if using) in lukewarm water for about 20 minutes. Drain and store their broth.
- Grate radishes in a food processor and then add the goat cheese, 1 tablespoon buttermilk, horseradish, salt and pepper. Mix and store the sauce in the fridge.
- In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and stir until browned.
- Add the chestnuts and mushrooms and stir. Cook for about 10 minutes and add the broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Pass the mixture in a blender along with the remaining tablespoon of buttermilk, salt and pepper.
- Serve in bowls, garnished with a spoonful of the mixture of cheese and horseradish topped with sliced radish.
Recipe adapted from the Greek version of the magazine ELLE á table, Winter 2008-9.
PS. If anyone of you guess whether I like soups, or not, wins a prize!! 🙂
Ps2. Last Sunday I had the pleasure of seeing my recipe for a savory cake with spinach and sun dried tomatoes printed in the Greek Cooking Magazine BHMA Gourmet. You can have a look here.
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Note: The ideas and information presented in this blog are for informational purposes only and in no case can replace the advice of a specialist in nutrition and health. Before starting any diet or exercise or before adding a special food in your daily intake, you should contact a specialist doctor or dietitian; especially if you suffer from a serious illness.