Oh I love the sound of an easy warming winter soup that has just the right amount of pizzazz to fit perfectly on a holiday table.
Earthy mushrooms sautéed alongside fragrant garlic and white onions complimented by the subtle festive flavor of tender chestnuts, all heightened by the quintessential holiday freshness of thyme.
This smooth and luxuriously velvet soup is texturally transformed by Jamie Oliver’s ingenious trick of using rice to thicken a soup instead of loading it with tons of cream. Oh Jamie, you so smart!!
To keep with the earthy tone of the mushroom and chestnut base to the soup I chose to use brown rice. The nutty flavor and wholesome texture is juuuust right.
A hint of cream and last second spiral of truffle oil escalate this soup to undeniable deliciousness with just that perfect amount of holiday indulgence. Hey, who said holiday indulgence couldn’t be nutritious? (Thanks again Jamie!)
This soup also freezes great so make extra to get you through those long lazy days at home this holiday season…
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 medium white onions, peeled and quartered
- 4 large cloves of garlic, peeled
- 2 to 2½ pounds of mixed button mushrooms (about 4 containers)
- 1 pound chestnuts, peeled and cooked (I use the vacuum packed kind)
- ⅛ cup fresh thyme leaves (pulled from about 15-20 sprigs)
- ½ cup brown rice
- 8 cups water
- 3 chicken stock cubes/pots (enough to flavor 6 cups water)
- ½ cup cream
- drizzle of truffle oil (optional)
- salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- Heat a soup pot over medium heat and melt the butter and olive oil together.
- Add the onion, garlic, mushrooms and chestnuts; season with salt and pepper and sauté for about 10 minutes until they are beginning to brown and get some color on them.
- Add the thyme, brown rice, chicken stock cubes/pots and water. I use 8 cups of water and enough chicken stock cubes/pots to season only 6 cups of water because I think the flavor of the mushrooms, thyme and chestnut is enough to flavor the rest of the water but feel free to add more stock if you want a stronger flavor.
- Bring to a boil, then cover and turn the heat down to low. Simmer for about 45 minutes or until the rice is tender.
- Puree the soup with an immersion blender.
- Add the cream and a drizzle of truffle oil if using. Stir and taste to see if you need additional salt or pepper.