I made a pumpkin chestnut soup while being in my apartment in Paris. I had a very small kitchen with a small stove and stovetop to cook. It was very uncomfortable for me to cook there, especially since I was missing so many tools but I managed to cook a few meals, including this soup. A soup is very easy to make as you only need a pot to cook, a wooden spoon to stir, and a blender (immersion) or not to blend if you want a blended soup (a chunky soup is even simpler to make).
The soup is made with pumpkin, chestnuts and apples. There is a little cream in it but you could substitute with coconut milk if you prefer. It’s a lovely vegetarian soup, perfect for Fall on a chilly or rainy day. You can serve it with a nice piece of warm, crusty bread.
Let’s look at two of the ingredients:
In France, they call it “Potiron”, which are the smaller kind of pumpkins you can use for cooking. They are usually called “sugar pumpkins”. I used one of them. I simply cut it in quarters, removed seeds and roasted the pumpkin wedges in the oven at 400F for about 30 minutes.
The process of roasting creates caramelization and gives character to the soup. Otherwise, the pumpkin is just boiled and loose flavours in the cooking process.
In France, you can find chestnut (of all kinds) everywhere. I could have used fresh chestnut (the ones that comes in their shell that needs to be cooked prior cooking (or eating)) but I did not. Instead, I used the peeled, steamed ones, which is what I had at home. I love to add them to my salads too. Since they were already “cooked”, it was much easier and quicker to use. Next time though, I will use fresh chestnuts that I will cook myself (in the oven or a pot of boiling water).
This is what raw chestnuts look like vs peeled and steamed chestnuts.
The soup wouldn’t be complete and as fragrant without the use of fresh local apples. I used 2 apples, which I cored and diced. The variety doesn’t really matter but just use one that is good for cooking.
So.. What’s in the soup?
Besides pumpkin and chestnut, there are onions, garlic, local apples, thyme, water (or broth!), salt, pepper, thyme and creme fraiche. For a dairy-free soup, substitute with coconut milk. I usually use coconut milk in my soups but I was in France and I had that nice creme fraiche from the market. The produces are good quality there and once in a while I enjoy having a soup with cream (it doesn’t happen often but still).
Let’s jump to the recipe now. Hope you guys enjoy!
Pumpkin Chestnut Soup with Apples
- 1 sugar pumpkin
- 1 tablespoon grass-fed butter, or olive or coconut oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon unrefined salt
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup steamed chestnuts
- 2 apples, cored and chopped
- 4 cups vegetable broth or water
- 1/2 cup creme fraiche (or full-fat coconut milk)
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Cut the pumpkin in quarters (half is fine too), scoop out the seeds, place cut side down on a baking sheet, and roast until cooked through, about 30 minutes. Set aside.
- Heat butter or oil in a large pot over medium heat.
- Add onions and garlic, and cook until softened, about 3 minutes.
- Add salt, pepper and thyme, and cook for another minute.
- Add in chestnuts and apples, and add in pumpkin flesh.
- Cover with broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Turn off heat, allow to cool slightly and carefully blend until smooth.
- Add a spoonful of creme fraiche and fresh herbs to garnish, if desired.