Hospitality Academy

Chestnut Soup with Grappa Cream

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Chestnut Soup with Grappa Cream


Total: 1 hr 15 mins Ι Active: 35 mins

Fabio Trabocchi is an Italian chef who owns various restaurants around the world, the majority of them in the United States. Already as a young boy, Trabocchi preferred to stay in the kitchen and cook instead of going out to play soccer with his friends. He learned cooking from his father, who was a passionate cook in his free time himself. Trabocchi worked as a pastry chef during summers and when he was old enough to start his apprenticeship he got the big opportunity to go and do it with Gualtiero Marchesi at his famous restaurant in Milan city. After that, he worked in Moscow, the USA and later moved to Spain and then to London to help with one of the openings of a restaurant he worked for in the USA. He won a Carlton London Restaurant Award as Best Young Chef of 1999 while working in the UK. More than a decade later, in 2011, when Trabocchi had been working in the USA for some time again he opened his first restaurant (Fiola) in Washington D.C. In the years to come, Trabocchi opened 6 more restaurants, all of which to date are highly popular. In 2014 his first restaurant (Fiola) received one Michelin Star.


Fabio Trabocchi

Nationalité: Italian
Profession Chef and Restauranteur
Favorite Dish in His Recipe Book: Risotto Marchigiana
Prix: Carlton London Restaurant Award as Best Young Chef of 1999, James Beard Foundation Award 2006

Temps total

1 hr 15 minutes

Temps actif

35 minutes


10 first-course portions (5 main course portions)

Calories / Portion


  • 2tbsp unsalted butter
  • 57g thinly sliced pancetta
  • 2 medium shallots, sliced
  • 78g diced peeled celery root
  • 226g white mushrooms, sliced
  • 400g jar vacuum-packed roasted chestnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 946ml chicken stock or low-sodium broth
  • 59ml Cognac
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • 1 sage sprig
  • 1 thyme sprig, plus 1 tablespoon thyme leaves, for garnish
  • 180 ml half-and-half
  • Salt and freshly ground white pepper
  • 240ml heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons grappa
  • 1
    Step 1
    In a large saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter. Add the pancetta and cook over moderate heat until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the shallots and celery root and cook until the celery root is just tender, about 10 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to a bowl, leaving the pancetta and fat in the saucepan.
  • 2
    Step 2
    Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter to the saucepan along with the mushrooms and all but 2 tablespoons of the chestnuts. Cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms have released their liquid and are slightly softened, 6 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of the chicken stock and the celery root mixture and cook for 1 minute. Add the Cognac and cook until evaporated, 2 minutes.
  • 3
    Step 3
    Add the bay leaf, sage and thyme sprigs to the saucepan along with the remaining 3 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons of chicken stock. Bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Discard the pancetta, bay leaf, sage and thyme.
  • 4
    Step 4
    Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender until creamy and smooth. Return the soup to the saucepan. Stir in the half-and-half, season with salt and white pepper and keep warm.
  • 5
    Step 5
    In a large bowl, using a handheld electric mixer, whip the cream until soft peaks form. Beat in the grappa and season with salt and pepper.
  • 6
    Step 6
    Ladle the soup into small bowls. Dollop the grappa cream on top, garnish with the thyme leaves and the reserved 2 tablespoons of chestnuts and serve.


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