Ingredients Jump to Instructions ↓

  1. 2 chicken wings and 1 back

  2. 4 medium new potatoes, peeled and halved

  3. 1 onion, thinly sliced

  4. 3 tablespoons butter

  5. 2 celery ribs, sliced

  6. 1 imported bay leaf

  7. 10 juniper berries, bruised Pinch of ground cinnamon Salt and freshly ground pepper

  8. 1/2 ounce dried French cepes or Italian porcini ( 1/2 to ⅔ cup)

  9. 1 pound steamed or roasted chestnuts, shelled and peeled

  10. 1 cup heavy cream

  11. 1 1/2 ounces jambon de Bayonne, Serrano ham, or prosciutto, slivered

  12. 1/4 cup shelled walnut pieces

  13. 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

  14. 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon leaves Lemon quarters and a cruet of walnut oil

Instructions Jump to Ingredients ↑

  1. Make the soup base: Crack the wings and back of the chicken into small pieces. Place in a heavy saucepan with the potatoes, onion, and half the butter and slowly allow the contents to brown and lightly stick to the bottom of the pot. Deglaze with 1 cup of water. Add the celery ribs, bay leaf, juniper berries, cinnamon, and 2½ quarts of water. Bring to a boil, skimming. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer the soup base, uncovered, for 45 minutes. Meanwhile, soak the cèpes in 1 cup water until soft. Strain, reserving the soaking liquid. Finely dice the mushrooms; set aside for Step 6. In a blender or food processor, grind 2 cups chestnuts with 1 cup cream and the reserved cèpe soaking water until smooth. Chop the remaining chestnuts and reserve for garnish. Remove the soup base from the heat. Use a slotted spoon to remove the chicken bones, bay leaf, and juniper berries. Add the chestnut puree to the soup base and simmer for 30 minutes longer. Press the soup through a tamis or fine-mesh sieve. (The recipe can be prepared to this point up to a day in advance.) Return the soup to a saucepan and slowly heat to boiling. If necessary, add more water or reduce to reach the desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste. In a large nonstick skillet, quickly sauté the slivered ham, diced cèpes, chopped walnuts, and chestnuts in the remaining butter over moderate heat until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Ladle the hot soup into bowls and garnish with the chopped parsley and tarragon. Serve at once with some lemon quarters and a cruet of walnut oil.


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