Creamy Chestnut Mushroom Soup
- 1 1/2 tablespoons butter or oil
- 1/2 yellow onion, diced
- 1 large clove garlic, minced
- 1 pound cremini mushrooms, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 5 ounces prepared chestnuts, quartered
- 3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 48 ounces (6 cups) vegetable broth
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
- 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
Thyme leaves, for garnish
Sauté the aromatics and chestnuts:
In a large pot over medium high heat, melt the butter. Once melted, add the onions and sauté until translucent, about 3 minutes.
Add the garlic, mushrooms, and chestnuts, and sauté for an additional 2 minutes. The vegetables will all appear softened, and the mushrooms will have shrunk considerably.
Add remaining ingredients and bring soup to a boil:
Add the thyme sprigs, broth, salt, and white pepper, then bring the soup to a boil. It should have full bubbles at the edges, heading toward the center.
Simmer the soup:
Reduce the heat to medium low to allow the soup to simmer, with small bubbles only, uncovered, about 20 minutes, until chestnuts are a bit softened. Using tongs, carefully remove the thyme stems and discard.
Blend the soup in a blender:
Turn off the stove and let the soup cool for about five minutes. You’ll only be blending half of the soup for this recipe.
Remove half the soup with a ladle or a glass liquid measuring cup and carefully pour it into a blender carafe. If the soup still feels very hot when you place it in the blender, remove the center cap of the blender’s lid and place a clean dish towel over it, so steam can escape as you blend the soup.
If using a low-power blender, blend on medium, about 15 seconds or if using a high-speed blender, about five seconds, until the soup is creamy.
The half batch of soup should fit in a standard sized blender well below the “fill to” line. If you have a small blender, though, you may wish to do this in two batches.
Add the blended soup back to the pot:
Add the blended soup and heavy cream into the pot with the remainder of the soup on the stove and stir to combine. The look should be thicker and more vegetable-laden than a cream of mushroom soup. It will also be a good bit darker than a cream soup, due to the minimal amount of cream used. The overall color will be a shade of brown similar to a very light milk chocolate.
Ladle the soup into bowls. Top with additional salt and pepper, to taste, and a few thyme leaves. Serve.
**NOTE This soup calls for 6 cups of stock. If you would like a thicker soup start with 5 cups and adjust from there.