Chestnut & lentil soup
This is a soothing, slightly sweet and earthy soup that is the perfect light meal for a cold winter’s day. Peeling and cooking chestnuts is extremely laborious, so this recipe uses canned pre-cooked ones to save time.
We love it served with warm sourdough bread, drizzled with crème fraîche and sprinkled with chopped thyme and shaved chestnuts.
Prep time:20 minutes
Cooking time:1 hour and 20 minutes
- Wash and finely chop the onion, leek, carrot and celery. You will want these to cook evenly so ensure they are chopped to a similar size.
- Place the olive oil in a large pan and place over a low to medium heat.
- Add the chopped vegetables and season with salt.
- Stir and allow the vegetables to sweat gently for 15 minutes until they are soft and colourless. If they start to colour, lower the heat and add a touch more oil.
- Once the vegetables are softened, add the red lentils and stir.
- Add the stock.
- Tie the bay leaf, thyme and parsley stems together with a piece of string and place into the pan along with the peppercorns and allspice.
- Increase the heat and bring to a boil.
- Simmer until the lentils are very soft, approximately 40 minutes.
- Use a ladle to remove any foam than appears on the top of the soup during cooking.
- Add the chestnuts and simmer for a further 15- 20 minutes.
- Remove the bay leaf, parsley stems and thyme tied with string.
- Use a blender, food processor or hand blender to liquidise until smooth.
- Add water to thin out as needed.
Serve hot with a dollop of crème fraîche and a sprinkle of chopped thyme.
This soup will keep well for several days or can be frozen and consumed within 3 months.
- 1 medium yellow onion
- 1 small leek
- 1 carrot
- 1 stick of celery
- 1 teaspoon good quality salt flakes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 250g red lentils rinsed well several times
- 1½ litres of fresh vegetable or chicken stock
- a few sprigs of thyme and parsley with stems
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 black peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon allspice
- 250g cooked chestnuts
- Crème fraîche and chopped thyme to serve
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