Makes About 4 Quarts
1 1 Ounce Package Dried Porcini Mushrooms
4 Pounds Wild Mushrooms Such as Shitake, Yenoki, Hen of the Woods, Oyster, Trumpet, Hedgehog
4 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, Divided
4 Tablespoons XVOO, Divided
1 Pound Packaged Roasted and Shelled Chestnuts
1 Large Spanish Onion, Finely Chopped
6 Celery Stalks, Finely Chopped
2 Large Yukon Gold Potatoes, Skin On, Cut into ½” Cubes
2 Teaspoons Coarse Sea Salt
1 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
¼ Cup All Purpose Flour
1 Cup Madeira Wine
2 Cups Mushroom Liquid
4 Cups Homemade Chicken Stock or Canned Low Sodium Chicken Broth, Heated
1 Cup Crème Fraiche
1 Cup Heavy Cream
2 Cups Cooked Wild Rice (Optional)
Crème Fraiche, a Drizzle of White Truffle Oil and Chopped Chives for Garnish
Place the dried porcini mushrooms in a small saucepan and cover with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil and continue to boil for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and let the mushrooms sit in the liquid for 10 minutes before straining. Strain the liquid through a strainer fitted with cheesecloth or paper towel. Rinse the mushrooms to be sure there is no dirt or sand. Squeeze out as much liquid as possible into the cheesecloth fitted strainer. Set the liquid aside. Coarsely chop the mushrooms.
Clean the wild mushrooms of any dirt and/or sand and coarsely chop. You want the mushroom pieces a little on the large side so you can sink your teeth into these wonderfully flavorful morsels.
Gently smash the chestnuts but putting pressure on the flat side of a chef’s knife.
In a large pot, such as a Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons each of the butter and XVOO over medium high heat. When the butter stops sizzling put half of the mushrooms in the pan. Sprinkle the mushrooms with a little of the salt and pepper and sauté them in two batches ( sprinkle the mushrooms with the salt and pepper as you place each batch in the pan). Before you stir them let the mushrooms get a bit of caramelization on the bottom. You don’t want them to steam or release their liquid. Remove from the pan and sauté the rest of the mushrooms. Remove and set aside.
Add the rest of the butter and XVOO and, over medium heat, sauté the onion, celery and potato until the onion and celery are a bit softened. Sprinkle the mixture with the flour and stir to coat. Cook for a few minutes stirring often. You want to cook the flour flavor out of the mixture. Add the rest of the salt and pepper and the Sunny Paris Herb Mixture to the vegetables.
Pour in the Madeira wine and stir into the vegetables. This will become thick and paste like. Cook and stir for 1 minute. Stir in the 2 cups of mushroom liquid and the chicken stock and gently bring the mixture to a boil. Add the chestnuts and reduce heat to simmer. Gently simmer until the potatoes are softened, about 20 minutes.
Add the 1 cup of crème fraiche and the heavy cream and stir to incorporate. Add the reconstituted Porcini mushrooms and the sautéed mushrooms with all of the juices that have accumulated and continue to gently simmer for 20 more minutes.
(Optional Wild Rice – Add and simmer five minutes more.)
At this point the soup will be perfect but if it seems a little too thin for your liking thicken it up by dissolving 2 tablespoons of cornstarch in water. Use your fingers to mix it. Be sure there are no lumps. Bring the soup to a boil and add the corn starch/water mixture stirring continuously until all of the cornstarch liquid has been blended in and the soup is slightly thicker.
Ladle the hot soup into heated bowls. Dollop each bowl of soup with crème fraiche, a drizzle of white truffle oil and sprinkle with chopped chives.
The soup can be made 2 or 3 days in advance and reheated at a gentle simmer.