How to make a healthy chestnut soup. Vegetarian friendly Recipe.

This is a recipe for a great tasting healthy vegetarian soup made using chestnuts. Chestnuts are the sweet nuts produced by trees in the same family as beech and oak. They are a wonderful and free natural resource that children love helping to harvest. Be very careful not to confuse sweet edible chestnuts with the seeds, or conkers, of the horse chestnut tree.

If you are in any doubt don't pick them they are poisonous. You can always buy chestnuts in a supermarket if you prefer.

Sweet edible chestnuts can be eaten raw, although they can be quite hard and rather bland when eaten this way, the flavour of chestnuts is, however, greatly improved by cooking. The preferred methods for cooking chestnuts is by roasting in the oven or boiling them in a large pan of slightly salted water. They can also be cooked on a barbecue or outside grill, wrap some of the chestnuts in foil and put the over the hot coals.

They take just a few minutes to cook and are ready when the skins start to split open. Lightly dust the chestnuts with salt for a quick and tasty snack, perfect on a cold winter night.

This chestnut soup is delicious served with warm crusty bread or sprinkled with a little grated cheese. Chestnuts are naturally low in calories, contain no cholesterol and very little fat. They are also the only nuts that contain vitamin C.

Chestnuts make a wonderful tasting soup.

Ingredients.

250g cooked chestnuts.

2 large white onions, chopped into small dice.

650g carrots, peeled and diced.

900ml vegetable stock.

4tbsp extra virgin olive oil.

20 sage leaves.

Salt and pepper to taste.

1tsp sugar.

Sour cream to garnish, optional.

A little grated cheese, optional.

Method.

In a large, heavy based saucepan sauté the chopped onions in the extra virgin olive oil until they are soft and translucent. This should take around five or six minutes. Add six of the sage leaves that have been finely shredded, leave to simmer as you prepare the chestnuts. The best and simplest chestnuts to use for this recipe are the ones that you can buy vacuum packed at the grocery store. Open the pack and remove any liquid, then roughly chop the chestnuts before adding to the pan with the diced carrots.

Stir well and then add the vegetable stock, bring the soup to the boil and then reduce the heat and simmer for thirty minutes. Stir occasionally to ensure that the chestnuts cook evenly. The soup is cooked when the carrots are soft when pierced with a sharp knife. Meanwhile, spread the remaining sage leaves out onto a baking sheet and cook in a low oven until they are crisp but not too shrivelled. Taste the chestnut soup and season well with the salt, pepper and the sugar. Remove the soup from the heat and use a blender to puree the soup until it is smooth and golden.

The best vacuum packed chestnuts for sale on Amazon.

If you are serving the soup immediately then return it to the pan for a couple of minutes to ensure that it is piping hot. Serve in warm bowls garnished with a swirl of sour cream and a scattering of the baked sage leaves and the cheese if you are using it.

This soup will keep for a couple of days in the fridge, let it cool down thoroughly before you refrigerate it and heat through slowly before serving. The sage leaves will also keep well in an airtight container.

This soup can be made vegan friendly if you leave out the sour cream and the cheese.

For more vegetarian and vegan recipes please check out my blog.

I hope you enjoy making and eating this cheap, healthy chestnut soup.

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