A great Christmas recipe, a filling soup of goodness (particuarly useful if you have overindulged!)
A lighter, fresher version of traditional recipe that would have been made with ham stock. You can make this your own, chuck in whatever veg you have to hand. For example you can swap the cauliflower & butter beans for 3 potatoes if you like.
I use Merchant Gourmet pouches of chestnuts & puree, which can usually be found on special offer around Christmas time.
- 2 tbsp rapeseed oil
- 2 onions (I used red), chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 4 medium carrots, chopped
- 3 cauliflower florets (frozen is fine)
- 2 bay leaves, 1 sprig of thyme & approx. 10 sage leaves (or your choice of herbs)
- 2 x 200g pouch of chestnut puree
- 2 x 180g pouch of cooked whole chestnuts, 1 roughly chopped
- 1 tin of butter beans, drained & rinsed
- 2 pinches of nutritional yeast
- Freshly grated nutmeg + seasoning
- Optional—zest of an orange
- Optional—serve with crème fraiche (vegan or dairy)
- In your largest saucepan warm the oil whilst you start chopping.
- Gently sauté the onion 1st for 5 minutes before adding the garlic, celery, then cook for 5 minutes more.
- Add the carrot, & cauliflower, & season if you like. Continue sautéing whilst you boil the kettle.
- Add enough boiled water to more than cover the veg. Add the herbs, cover, bring to a gentle simmer & leave for 30 minutes.
- Add the chestnut purees & 1 pouch of whole chestnuts, butter beans, yeast. Simmer for about another 10 minutes, until everything is soft.
- Remove the bay & thyme, whizz with a hand blender. Add more water if necessary until the thickness is right for you.
- Season, add grated nutmeg (to your liking), the chopped whole chestnuts, & orange zest if using.
Just over an hour
Garlic is well known to boost immunity & is antibacterial & antifungal. Much research has found it effective in treating colds & flu, it is anti-carcogenic, & thought to be beneficial for high blood pressure, stroke prevention, & treating diabetes.
Chestnuts are quite different to other nuts, having 4 times as much carbohydrate, 1/3 of the protein, half the calories, and 1/15 of the fat. A great source of potassium, magnesium and iron.
Carrots— Great for the liver (detoxifier), the gut (fibre) & the kidneys. Also well known for being good for the eyes, & the skin (in moderation!), for the digestive system & the urinary tract. A multitude of vitamins & minerals + high in fibre.
Thyme was used by the Romans as a culinary & medicinal herb. A great tonic for stomach & nerves. In tea it relieves wind, promotes appetite, strengthens digestion. Thyme vinegar was used for centuries to relieve headaches. Rich in essential oils, sometimes used as an antiseptic mouthwash.
Nutritional yeast is a complete protein, containing all nine essential amino acids that we need from food. It contains many B vitamins, + zinc & selenium.