April 20, 2015

Chestnut, kale and apple soup

The last day of school holidays and it rained when we woke up, it continued to rain all morning, and just as I thought there was a ray of light appearing and hope of a clear afternoon the heavens really opened up and I thought our little home in Orange was going to be blown away. Of course this did not help the entertainment situation with two boys who had literally turned the house upside down by 9am! The suggestion to venture out to do some much-needed grocery shopping did not amuse or appeal and was received with “that’s so boring”…followed by “can I play video games?”.

So here I was stuck, thinking about the lack of items that will fill two lunch boxes tomorrow with not even a drop of milk in the fridge for breakfast and the realisation that I needed to also come up with a plan for dinner too! My fridge had half a bunch of kale leaves on the limp side, a few carrots, some leftover apples from our F.O.O.D week heritage apple tour as well as some stray spuds and an onion sitting on the bench.

A forage in the pantry and I’ll note right now that corner pantry cupboards are not particularly useful, especially when you have to stick your head, two shoulders and a long limb in there to pull out something lingering in the deep dark back.

Aha, but here were some lusty chestnuts! Of all the ingredients in sight, a tin of chestnuts was not what I expected to find and here it was a recipe was born…

Chestnut, kale and apple soup

Chestnut, kale and apple soup

When you think about flu season approaching, a nutritious combination of foods like this are an ultimate immune boosting dish. You can read more on the benefits of nourishing chestnuts in my previous post below.

Note: I usually would use fresh chestnuts as they are well in season now, but when you are low on stocks and haven’t done a shop they are one nutritious and filling stand-by ingredient you should buy next time you are out and about.

If you are fortunate enough to have a day of no rain and are out doing a big shop grab some big fresh chestnuts, you can’t beat the ones that have just fallen from the sky!

Please see my post from last year if you buy the fresh ones so you know how to prepare them for this recipe (Chestnut lasagne)

For the remaining ingredients of this soup I think a number of leftover items in one’s fridge could work; some leeks instead of onion, carrots could work well, sweet potato instead of potato, spinach substituted for kale etc. A tip for kids is to add some grated cheddar cheese, a drizzle of manuka honey and baguette or crunchy croutons perhaps and call it Shrek soup!

This recipe is reasonably quick to make unless of course you are preparing the ‘gourmet version’ of fresh chestnuts. A delicious warming soup.


2 cups chestnuts (fleshed removed from shell)

2 cups kale leaves washed and stems removed

3 apples peeled, cored and roughly chopped.

3 desiree potatoes cubed

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1 brown onion chopped

1-2 cloves of garlic finely sliced

1 1/2 teaspoon of freshly chopped sage

2 teaspoons ginger (fresh or ground dry)

500 ml chicken stock or vegetable stock if vegetarian (home-made is best)

500-750 ml water

pinch of salt and pepper for seasoning


1. In a heavy based saucepan, warm olive oil on a low to medium heat and add onion, ginger and garlic until soft.

2. Add stock and extra water bringing to the boil, add sage and potatoes, reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes, then add apple for 10 minutes followed by chestnuts for another 10 minutes.

3. You can add the kale leaves as is, however I like to blend with some boiled water to a super fine consistency in a nutrient blender; vitamix, nutri-bullet or something similar. Once kale is added to pot, use a stick blender to blend the soup completely. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.








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