Top tips. the tricky bit is to unite all the ingredients together, cooking the chestnuts down to thicken the soup and then adding the spelt at the right moment so that it absorbs all the flavours of the other ingredients without becoming overcooked.
First to prepare the chestnuts. bring a large pan of water to the boil. While waiting for the water to boil take a sharp knife and cut a cross on the pointed end of each chestnut. then plunge the chestnuts into the boiling water and cook on a gentle boil for about five minutes and then take off the heat and leave to cool. when cool enough to handle remove the chestnuts from the water and peel them removing the outer shell and then the thin skin which covers them. Now, slice the chestnuts.
Warm the oil in a wide heavy based pan and add the chestnuts and cook on a low heat for about twenty minutes stirring them frequently so that they start to break down in the oil without colouring.
While the chestnuts are cooking clean the porcini mushrooms and then slice them into bite size pieces. add the porcini mushrooms to the pan and stir them gently to amalgamate with the chestnuts. Add the clove of garlic, chili and some salt and cook on a gentle heat for a further five minutes. Now deglaze the pan with the white wine. Add the sprigs of thyme tied into a bouquet garnis and cook on a high heat until the white wine has evaporated. Then cover the contents of the pan with water to come two fingers above the ingredients and bring back to the boil and then simmer for half an hour.
Bring another pan of water to the boil, with a piece of onion, carrot and celery with a little salt and add the spelt and then simmer the spelt for about twenty minutes. Then drain the spelt and add to the other pan and simmer for a further five minutes. Adding a little water if necessary if it seems too thick. Place a lid on the pan and leave for ten minutes for the flavours to develop. Finally, remove the sprigs of thyme, the garlic and chili and stir in some extra virgin olive oil, check the seasoning and serve.