Chestnut Mushroom Soup

My mom made this delicious soup last Thanksgiving. It was so good that I had to make it myself, but, by the time I did, chestnuts were already out of most stores, so I’ve been waiting to post it. I just saw fresh chestnuts at the market, so it’s finally time! The combination of chestnuts and mushrooms, enhanced with a little sherry, gives a deep and satisfying flavor.

You can save a lot of work by buying already cooked and peeled chestnuts. Trader Joe’s usually starts carrying them in early November. Here’s what they looked like last year:

The prepared Trader Joe’s chestnuts worked perfectly for this soup, and they make it super easy.

2 Tbsp olive oil (or butter)
2 shallots, peeled and coarsely chopped
10 oz brown crimini mushrooms, coarsely chopped (~4 cups whole, non-packed)
5 oz shiitake mushrooms, coarsely chopped (~2 cups whole, non-packed)
2 cloves garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 cups water
1 tsp Better Than Bouillon (or use stock)
1/3 cup sherry
1 tsp dried thyme (1 Tbsp if using fresh leaves)
6.5 oz chestnuts (cooked and peeled)

Optional: reserve a few chestnuts and slice thinly for garnish.

Saute shallots, mushrooms, and garlic for about 5 minutes. Add water, bouillon, sherry, thyme, and chestnuts, and simmer for 15 minutes. Let cool slightly, then transfer to blender and blend until smooth, about 50 seconds. (Make sure to start on low, then increase to high.)

It blends up to a thick and satisfying soup. You can thin it out with more liquid if you prefer. Leftovers keep in the fridge for a few days.

Impress your Thanksgiving guests, or just indulge yourself on a cold evening!

If you enjoy this soup as much as I do, you may want to get some extra chestnuts and keep them in the freezer for when stores stop selling chestnuts.

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