Worries go down better with soup. ~Jewish Proverb
To me this soup feels like log cabins, knitted socks and warm fireplaces.
Bring on the harvest. Not only are leaves falling from those beautiful trees, but lucky for us so are delicious chestnuts. After a weekend in the country, we stopped by a little tiny village nestled into the mountains called Castelnau in the Aveyron region for the ‘Fête de la chataîgne’ or Chestnut Festival. The little cobblestone streets and alleys were filled with locals selling antiques, fresh apple cider, baked goods, mulled wine, soup, and of course the largest chestnut roasting I have ever seen.
This soup is one of my favorite autumn recipes. It is warm and thick with light creamy flavors from the pumpkin and creamy nutty notes from the chestnut. Best of all, in the autumn we can make this soup with all fresh ingredients. A few years ago when I moved to France, I was so amazed by the amount of pumpkin used in recipes (especially soups) but when I wanted to make pumpkin pie, not a can of pumpkin to be found. I gave it a go with fresh pumpkin and was amazed at how easy and more delicious it is in recipes. So no more canned pumpkin, artificial flavors or syrups here folks but actual pumpkin. How groovy is that?
Not only are chestnuts and pumpkin both fantastic for cooking with, but both add a lot of nutritional value. Pumpkins are literally bursting with orange and yellow colors which comes from the antioxidants called leutin, xanthins and carotenes (which your body converts to vitamin A). Vitamin A plays an important role in skin health, vision, mucous membranes and immune function. Chestnuts unlike other nuts or seeds are starchy and low in fat. They are exceptionally rich in vitamin C, folates, and minerals such as magnesium.
Ingredients: (6 servings)
- 1 large chopped yellow onion
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 2 Tbs olive oil or ghee
- One medium size pumpkin (or butternut squash) peeled, deseeded and chopped into pieces to equal about 5 cups of fresh pumpkin.
- 400 grams of shelled and roasted chestnuts (approx. 2-3 cups)
- 4-5 cups of water
- sea salt and pepper to taste
- Optional: add 1/2 cup plain full-fat yogurt or cream to make this soup creamy.
Equipment Note: I highly recommend Investing in a quality large pressure cooker and an electric hand mixer. It is the easiest and fastest way to make fresh and homemade soups. Save yourself some time and make one big soup each week, and then save some in the fridge for nights that you don’t feel like cooking.