Creamy chestnut soup with Shiitake bacon

by @anna.culina đź§ˇ
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Ingredients soup:
650 g whole chestnuts
2 carrots
3 celery stalks
1 apple 
1 leek
1 garlic clove
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 liter water
1 Tbsp apple vinegar
60 ml plant-based cream 
1 Tbsp thyme
1 tsp salt
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Ingredients Shiitake bacon:
150 g Shiitake mushrooms 
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp Tamari
1 tsp apple vinegar 
1 tsp cane sugar
½ tsp smoked paprika
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Method:
With a sharp knife score a X in the curved side of the chestnut shell. The cuts should be at least 1,5 cm long and should score all the way through the shell. Fill a big saucepan with water and a little salt and bring to a boil. Add in the chestnuts and cook for 15 minutes. Drain water chestnuts and rinse with cold water. Peel chestnuts and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 200°C/400F.
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Finely slice Shiitake mushrooms. Make a marinade by combine sesame oil, tamari, apple vinegar, sugar and smoked paprika. Mix with the mushrooms afterwards. Spread mushrooms onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake for 25-30 min. Toss mushrooms after half of the baking time.
Cut carrots, celery and leek into thin slices. Transfer the green part of the leek to a small bowl and set aside. Core and cube the apple, peel and mince garlic clove.
In a big saucepan heat up the olive oil. Add the carrots, celery, leek and garlic and fry for 2 min. Then add apple and chestnuts and fry for another 5 min. Season with thyme and salt and add water. Cover with a lid and let simmer for at least 20 min.
Mix in the plant-based cream, apple vinegar and blend soup with a hand blender until creamy. Adjust thickness with water, add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve soup with fresh leek, shiitake bacon and a drizzle of plant-based cream.

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