My grandmother used to make this earthy, sweet, rich and creamy Chestnut Soup during winter. As a chef growing up in war torn Europe, she was a tough bargainer and knew good produce at a glance. I loved hearing her stories how she would barter with vendors strategically positioned on street corners roasting chestnuts over an open fire in makeshift roasting drums. Her bargaining prowess ensured she always took home the largest, sweetest and the most moist chestnuts the vendors had.
I was nine years old when I experienced my first European winter and a white Christmas. It was also the first time I had ever seen, tasted and smelled that wondrous sweet aroma of roasted chestnuts from a street vendor. I immediately fell in love with the romance of chestnuts and to this day our family continues the custom of buying and roasting chestnuts during winter.
Every now and again our family recreates our Grandmother’s Chestnut Soup. I have taken some liberty and kept the recipe suitable for someone on a clean-eating meal plan. It’s a delicious soup and can be enjoyed hot or cold.
This Chestnut Soup is earthy, sweet, rich and creamy - it screams pure decadence but is low in fat, gluten free, dairy free and super healthy.
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes (includes roasting the chestnuts)
Makes: 4-6 as an entrée
Under a griller, roast the chestnuts until the X on the chestnuts split open.
Remove the chestnuts from the griller and cool, then peel the outer shell and skin off. Set aside.
Finely dice the carrot and celery and place into a large saucepan over high heat.
Add a Ľ cup of water to the vegetables and steam for a couple of minutes until the vegetables start to soften.
Steam the carrot and celery keeping the soup low in fat.
Add the roasted chestnuts, mixing in with the carrot and celery. Stir for a couple of minutes until the chestnuts start to soften.
Add the chestnuts and steam for a couple of minutes before adding the mushroom stock.
Pour the mushroom stock in with the chestnuts and bring the liquid to boil.
Reduce to a low heat and simmer for 15-minutes. Add a little pepper to taste.
Pour soup into a blender and puree all the ingredients until smooth.
Serve with a dollop of sheep’s milk Greek Yoghurt (optional) and garnish with some baby spinach leaves.
Puree the soup until smooth and serve with a dollop of sheep's milk Greek Yoghurt and a handful of baby spinach.
Notes If you’re unable to find fresh chestnuts or if the thought of roasting and peeling the chestnuts seems too labour intensive, you can buy vacuum packed, peeled and cooked chestnuts.
Vacuum packing the chestnuts keeps them moist and fresh without the need for adding any colours or preservatives to extend shelf life. However, they’re not cheap and a 240g tin retails between $7.00 - $10.00.
I always have a tin on standby for when I can’t buy fresh chestnuts and will buy the Clement Faugier Chestnuts which are imported from France.