I would never have gone for this soup based on its list of ingredients alone. In fact, I usually want nothing to do with vegetable soup, and this is in essence a vegetable soup. Ah… the transformative powers of a splash of cream and an immersion blender! When I know (or admit) that I have been over-indulgent I eat this soup for a few days- it makes me feel lighter and healthier.
The addition of just a little rice and cream enhance the complexity and blend of flavors which add up to more than the sum of its parts. I prefer an earthy English cheddar like Montgomery’s as a garnish, but any sharp cheddar of your liking will do. I suggest serving this soup with rosemary scones – a rich and tender bite on the side takes it to the next level and makes it perfect for casual fall entertaining.
2 T olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
6 celery stalks, including leaves – rough chopped
6 carrots, peeled + sliced
5 Jalapeno chiles, halved + seeded
6 large garlic cloves, rough chopped
½ cup uncooked white rice
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
8 cups chicken stock
½ cup heavy cream
1 T kosher salt
3 oz sharp cheddar, grated
sliced chives for garnish
Serves 6 - 2 cups each. Calories 275- includes cheese garnish. Heat 2 T olive oil in a heavy large stock pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and sweat until tender, about 10 minutes. Add celery, carrots, jalapenos and garlic and sauté on medium for15 minutes. Add rice, pumpkin pie spice and salt – sauté for 5 more minutes. Add the chicken stock, bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are very tender, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat and puree with an immersion blender until smooth. Return soup to heat and add the heavy cream – return to simmer. Season to taste with S & P. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish each one with a liberal sprinkle of cheese and chives.