Soups are a reason to love winter. Also, snow. But unfortunately we don’t seem to be having much of that lately.
Bring it on, New England. I’m ready for you!
I’m sure I’ll regret that statement sometime in February.
Snow or no snow, I’m deep into soup making season. There is nothing more comforting on a cold day. Also soups are a great way to, ahem, lighten up a bit after all those cookies and cocktails that seemed to happen near the end of 2014.
But as much as I love soup, I don’t just want a bowl of measly broth. I need substance. Something satisfying and creamy. But maybe without all the cream.
Enter my new friend: Creamy Mushroom-Chestnut Bisque. Thick, rich, earthy and unbelievably creamy. Without a stitch of dairy. Can I get an amen?
And while we’re at it, let’s put some crispy fried mushrooms up on top. Because pureed soups need toppings. That’s non-negotiable.
I’ve made this soup with jarred chestnuts and with fresh chestnuts that I roasted and peeled myself (check out my “how-to” post here). It works great both ways. But the jarred chestnuts will save you a significant amount of prep time if you’re in a hurry.
- For the Bisque
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 6 cups mushrooms, chopped (I used a mix of shiitake and crimini)
- 2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves, plus extra for garnish
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. pepper
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 3 cups roasted and peeled chestnuts, plus extra for garnish
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- 1 tablespoon tamari (or soy sauce if you can tolerate gluten)
- For the Fried Mushrooms
- About 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 8-10 shiitake mushrooms, very thinly sliced
- Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-bottom pot over medium heat. Add the onions, mushrooms, thyme, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, about 5-7 minutes or until the onions and mushrooms have softened. Stir in the white wine and cook until the liquid is almost completely evaporated. Add the chestnuts and vegetable broth. Bring the bisque to a boil and then reduce the heat to maintain a simmer. Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool slightly.
- Working in batches, carefully transfer the bisque to your blender and blend until smooth. Return the pureed bisque to your pot and stir in the tamari. The bisque will be thick. If you prefer a thinner consistency, you can stir in a little more vegetable broth. Keep the bisque warm while you prepare the mushroom topping.
- Fry the mushrooms for the topping. In a small skillet over medium-high heat, warm enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan. It doesn’t have to be very deep. Once the oil is hot, add the thinly sliced mushrooms and fry them for about 30 seconds, or until they are lightly browned and crisped. Remove the fried mushrooms and place them on a paper-towel lined plate to drain.
- To serve, ladle the warm bisque into bowls. Top with a few fried mushrooms, some crumbled chestnuts and fresh thyme leaves. Enjoy!
- Once cooled, the bisque can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
You can have my winter weather, Liz! It’s in the negative temps right now and we’re supposed to get around 6 inches of snow tomorrow, yuck!! But this soup sounds like the perfect dish to cozy up with. Cream of mushroom is one of my favorites, and I’m loving the addition of chestnuts! Yum!
Ha ha! It’s wicked cold here too. But no snow. And I figure, if it’s going to freezing, let’s at least have some pretty white fluffy stuff.
Wow! This looks amazing Liz. So creamy and perfect. Pinned!
Soups DO ned toppings, and yours look gorgeous! And don’t get New England too riled up there. He’s been known to do some pretty crazy things with winter weather 🙂
Pinned and looking forward to seeing you this week!
Yeah I’m so excited to see you in a couple days! 🙂
I love, love, love that you’ve used chestnuts in this gorgeous soup! One of my favorite ingredients and so underutilized in the US. Beautiful pics too! Sharing on FB & Pinterest 😉
Chestnuts are so good! My family eats a lot of them, but I don’t know many other people that do. Thanks for sharing, Allie!
What a beautiful dish! Winter is a great excuse to enjoy soup. Good luck with the New England weather! I have to admit that I don’t miss it at all 🙂
Thanks, Ashely. I’m sure I’ll regret wishing for now. But I kind of figure, if it’s going to be this darn cold then at least there should be snow!
I’m right there with ya – I love creamy soups with lots of flavor! I’ve never cooked with chestnuts, so I’m feeling inspired to get a hold of some and try out this tasty recipe! It’s been snow-less and cold where I’m at too, so I’m totally up for all the soup making. I’ve got my bowl ready – fill ‘er up!
Oh you’re going to love cooking with chestnuts. They are so satisfying. #soupforlife
Wow, shiitake, wine and chestnuts! I am in love!!
Ha. Yeah there is a lot of good stuff all in one pot! Thanks!
Yes, creamy without all the cream please! Haha. Perfect solution!
Thanks, Karen! Gotta cut back where I can so I can eat more brownies!
I’m in love, so so in love! And your right, creamy soups so need toppings!
Glad we agree, Annie! XO
Hahha you are so going to regret that statement soon!! But I am with you, I love soup and I love hearty ones. This looks amazing and I can’t wait to try!
I know. I think I just seriously jinxed myself!! XO
Liz, this soup looks beyond amazing! I love the sound of the mushrooms and roasted chestnuts. Pinning to try!
Thanks, Marcie. I hope you like it! It’s kind of different. But really good!
Oh, all these ingredients make my mouth water! And yes, puree’d soups demand toppings and the fried mushrooms are a show stopper! I adore mushrooms and eat them as much as I can, so your recipe give me one more way to enjoy them. And thank you for the tutorial on roasting chestnuts, I’ve not done that before! Looking forward to following you in 2015! HNY, Liz!
Yeah! Thanks, Traci! Happy New Year! Can’t wait for a great 2015!
Wow, this is one gorgeous bowl of soup. I’m with you, bring on the snow. Pinned.
Right? If it’s going to be freezing, let’s at least have something pretty to look at!
This looks great! It must be the time of year but I’m totally into healthy retakes of classics. it’s been ages since I’ve cooked with chestnuts but I think I’ll have to change that. Thanks for the recipe!
Thanks, Kristen. I love eating roasted chestnuts, and now I’m trying to cook with them more too!
This is gorgeous. I love soup in the winter. Well, really any time of year 🙂 Happy New Year!
Thanks, Aimee! Happy New Year!
This sounds lovely! I love rich, hearty soups, but, what I don’t love is all the calories from the cream/ creme fraiche added. Such a brilliant idea to use chestnuts!
Thanks, Tiffany. The chestnuts add a great depth of flavor! And it’s so creamy, without all the calories!
Beautiful soup, Liz and sorely needed in my part of the woods this week. The deep freeze has arrived! 🙂
Wicked cold here too, Jennifer. I’m hunkering down!
Yes, please! So creamy and pretty!
Thanks, luv! Hugs to you!
wow! this looks amazing.
Thank you! Let me know if you try it out!
I’m a HUGE mushroom fan, so this soup is so up my alley!!
Mushrooms are so good! Let me know if you try it out! Thanks, Lisa! Hugs!
I am a soupaholic and this is the kind of soup I know i can really fall in love with. I totally agree: soup needs all the toppings!
Thanks, Amanda. Let me know if you try it out!
Looks delicious! A perfect hearty soup on cold days like today! Brrrr….. Cold.
Thanks, Nancy! Stay warm!
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I made this last night for dinner. It was absolutely amazing. I have had the leftovers for lunch today with some grated cheese on it, and thick bread and butter. One happy tummy. Fantastic autumn flavours, beautiful soup. Thank you.
That’s great, Andrea! Hooray for soup season!