Hearty Chestnut & Pumpkin Soup

🕔 3 mins (total)
This pumpkin and chestnut soup recipe really couldn’t be any easier.
This pumpkin and chestnut soup recipe really couldn’t be any easier.

With both pumpkins and chestnuts being in season around the same time of year, a delicious soup with both featuring as the star ingredients makes perfect sense. Both are easy to find in autumn, and the recipe really couldn’t be any easier to follow.

Another popular use for pumpkins around November time is in the most traditional of Thanksgiving desserts – for which we have a recipe as well, of course – pumpkin pie!

And that’s not all! Why not try your hand at our mushrooms and pumpkin with bacon and rice recipe? It’s another winter-warmer, and all the main ingredients are in season at just the right time too.

Anyway, we digress… Let’s get back to the recipe at hand already!

For this recipe, (and indeed the others too) be sure not to use horse chestnuts, which are quite similar in appearance but not actually related to chestnuts at all, and are mildly poisonous to humans. Water chestnuts look completely different, so there’s not much chance you’ll confuse these by mistake. In addition, the nuts referred to in English as Brazil nuts (in Brazil, they probably just call them nuts!) are known as castañas de Brasil (Brazil chestnuts) in Castellano Spanish, but, again, they have a very different look to them.

Chestnuts are low in fat and protein and high in vitamin C, which is very unusual for true nuts and actually more typical of a fruit. Although they lose some of that vitamin C when boiled or roasted, they still provide a healthy dose, and they are also a good source of antioxidants, even after cooking.

Pumpkins are native to North America and were an important part of the diet of Native Americans long before the arrival of European settlers. Nowadays, they are typically associated with Hallowe’en, and, as we mentioned, with Thanksgiving, in the USA in particular, and Canada to a lesser extent. In fact, it was because Native Americans brought these strange-looking, but highly nutritious, varieties of squash, as gifts to the first European settlers, and taught them their many uses, that they became forever after associated with Thanksgiving. They also are commonly grown here in Catalunya too, and are widely available in shops and markets in autumn every year.

Both ingredients are in season around the same time of year and go perfectly well together to produce this unusual, but delicious and hearty soup. Perfect for those days when there’s a bit of a chill in the air.

Ingredients

  • 250g chestnuts, cooked and peeled

  • 250g pumpkin; peeled and cubed

  • Stock – chicken or vegetable, preferably

  • Two medium onions, chopped

  • A couple of stalks of celery, chopped

  • One or two tablespoons of chopped oregano

  • Salt and pepper

  • Nutmeg; half a tablespoon

  • Sour cream; 200ml

  • Chopped chives

Method

  • Slit the chestnuts and boil for 10-15 minutes. Once cooled, remove the outer shell and peel.

  • In a large saucepan, combine the stock, chestnuts, pumpkin, onion, celery, and chopped herbs.

  • Bring to boil, then reduce and simmer over moderate heat until pumpkin and chestnuts are tender.

  • Add most of the sour cream (keep a little aside for serving) and blend until smooth, and season with salt, freshly cracked pepper and nutmeg.

  • Add a dollop of cream into the bowl when serving, and top with chives for a dash of colour.

  • And NjOY!

Pumpkin seeds

When you are preparing your pumpkin for the soup, don’t throw away those seeds. They can be roasted and made into a very tasty and nutritious snack, or you can sprinkle them on top of the soup too.

To find out how to prepare them, click on this link.

Bon profit!

Check out our other Mediterranean recipes for dishes to try at home.

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