Perfect to enjoy in front of the fire. This soup is sweet, earthy, cozy and aromatic — and it’s easy to make. Plus, there is no roasting on an open fire, required. Unless you must!
2 TBSP butter or olive oil
1 stalk celery
1 shallot, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
4 oz. shiitaki mushrooms, stems removed and chopped (about 2 cups)
1/4 cup white wine or sherry
1 1/2 lbs. chestnuts, roasted and shelled (or one 24oz. jar)
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1/8th tsp. ground cloves
4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups milk, or dairy-free substitute, plus more as needed
Salt and pepper to taste
Melt the butter or oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the celery, shallot, and garlic – saute 2-3 minutes. Add the mushrooms, and cook for another 3-5 minutes, or until softened. Stir in the wine, chestnuts, and spices, then add the vegetable broth. Bring to a simmer and let cook 20-30 minutes, or until the chestnuts have softened.
Add the milk (or substitute) and puree with an immersion blender until smooth (or, carefully transfer to a blender and puree in batches. Always use caution when blending hot liquids!).
Add more milk, or water, to thin the soup to desired consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve with croutons.
Holding its own in slot number 3 on Billboard’s Top 10 Holiday Songs 2016 is “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire,” or more traditionally known as “The Christmas Song.” Written in 1945 by Wells and Tormé (and, according to Tormé, the song was written during a blistering hot summer!) While, Nat King Cole’s recording of the song is the most popular (inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1974) listen now to this rendition by Tormé & Judy Garland.