One thing in this world that I think is entirely important is that music and good food go together. Yes, even my meals have a soundtrack, and though while many of you may think I’m silly that my nourishment makes me think of music, I think music completely enhances a menu.
That is why when I was approached by Whole Foods to blog about their upcoming “Dressing Rehearsal” in-store tasting event on December 13th, 14th & 15th at their River & Craycroft location in Tucson, I was intrigued. Why in the world should a music blog have anything to do with posting a holiday recipe?
Well, blog readers, this blog is dedicated to a music and meal pairing. I give you…
Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire Mushroom Soup
(All ingredients purchased at the Whole Foods River/Craycroft location)
2 pounds of fresh chestnuts
12 ounces cremini mushrooms
3 large portabella mushrooms
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 crushed cloves of garlic
Salt and pepper to taste
2/3 cup Sherry
1 large onion
8 cups of chicken broth
6 cups water
Fresh thyme twigs (optional)
1 cup of Organic Soy Creamer….The recipe calls for heavy cream, but I like to cut back on the calories and fat as much as I can without losing too much taste. Just look at the nutritional info on both heavy cream and soy cream. Perhaps heavy cream tastes a little richer, but you should decide what’s more important for you.
(1) Preparing the Chestnuts
Preheat the oven to 350°. Using a pairing knife, cut into the flesh of the chestnut and work the knife 3/4 of the way around the entire nut.
Once all of the chestnuts have been cut, bake them until tender to pierce or for about 30-40 minutes.
Chestnut shells peel best when warm. Take a few chestnuts out of the oven at a time and peel off their shells using a kitchen towel to enable handling. Continue this process until all shells have been peeled.
(2) Making the mushroom mixture
While the chestnuts are baking, chop up the portabella and cremini mushrooms roughly. Heat up your butter and olive oil in a large stock pot over a medium heat. Add the crushed garlic cloves and simmer until browned. Add mushrooms and cook until browned, stirring occasionally. Add sherry turning your heat up to high stirring the mushrooms continuously. Once the sherry has mostly burned off, turn the burner back to medium and add salt and pepper to taste. Roughly chop the chestnuts and add them to the mixture cooking an additional 3 minutes.
Add chicken stock and water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for 1 hour.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer all of the solids to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Add strained liquid to the mixture and process until desired consistency is achieved. Just before serving, stir in the soy cream and add more salt and pepper if desired.
Optional: Garnish soup with a twig of thyme. I chose to just put a pretty flower on the side instead.
Enjoy this amazing holiday dish!
This recipe is a fantastic soup perfect for the holiday season, and as I mentioned before, all good food should be relished listening to good music to enhance the ambiance…a full feast for the senses! One thing about Whole Foods is that they have been a true innovative force in the world music arena. Whole Foods largely promotes ethnic diversity and fair trade markets. It seems appropriate that they would also sell the Putumayo world music CDs.
This season, Whole Foods has released a Putumayo Acoustic Christmas selection.
Though the CD is not available at the Whole Foods River/Craycroft location, it is worth tracking down at another Whole Foods store. To listen to song selections from the CD, click HERE, and you will be guided to the Whole Foods Acoustic Christmas page.
Of course, my Tucson Songstress song of the day is the Acoustic Christmas’s version of “The Christmas Song” sung by Stacey Kent. What a lovely and smooth rendition of an old-time classic…perfect to share with a nice steaming bowl of mushroom soup especially with “chestnuts roasting on an open fire.”
The Whole Foods River/Craycroft Dressing Rehearsal Event
My dear Tucson community….you are in for an absolute treat. Whole Food’s expert chefs and creative team will be spending time with its shoppers on December 13th, 14th, and 15th for three special holiday events.
Friday, December 13, 2013 – 4-6:00 pm: Sweet and Savory: Tastes from the Bakery and Whole Food’s Top 10 Wines
Saturday, December 14, 2013 – 11-2:00 pm: Holiday ham tasting
Sunday, December 15, 2013 – 12-2:00 pm: Santa’s Workshop – One-of-a-kind gift ideas and creative ways to wrap presents
Whole Foods is located at 5555 East River Rd, Tucson, AZ 85750.
Be sure to check out these events to enhance your holiday festivities, because you should know that anything done by Whole Foods is sure to be great.
To sum it up, just check out their holiday wish to their shoppers that I looked up and noticed while I was in their store. “Be well, Jingle Bell,” and best holiday wishes to all of you!
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post for Whole Foods Market Tucson – River Rd.