Chestnut ?Soup

There's nothing cozier on a winter's day than the smell of roasting chestnuts, except perhaps a steaming bowl of chestnut soup

Credit: Flickr / sassyradish

This smooth, earthy chestnut soup is perfect on a chilly day

There’s nothing cozier on a winter’s day than the smell of roasting chestnuts, except perhaps a steaming bowl of chestnut soup

Chestnuts are the darlings of Italy, Portugal and certainly France, where they are commonly sold by street vendors during late fall and early winter.

Fresh chestnuts truly do roast over searing hot coals, sending delicious scents wafting into the streets. I never pass up the opportunity to purchase a serving accented with a generous topping of sea salt. This scene is not so common here, but a good bowl of chestnut soup is a great substitute.


  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil

  • 4 ounces pancetta, chopped

  • 1 medium onion, diced

  • 20 chestnuts, cooked, peeled and chopped 

  • 1 large garlic clove, minced

  • 1 carrot, peeled and shredded

  • 3 cups shredded Napa cabbage 

  • 5 cups chicken stock

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 1/2 cup white wine

  • 1/3 cup chopped parsley

  • 2 tsp. fresh thyme

  • Really good olive oil (garnish)

  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese (garnish)


  1. Heat the oil in a large soup pot.
  2. Add the pancetta and onion, sautéing until the onion begins to soften and the pancetta browns.
  3. Add the chestnuts, garlic, carrot and cabbage.
  4. Cover and turn the heat to low. Let the veggies sweat for 10 minutes.
  5. Add the stock, bay leaf, wine, parsley and thyme.
  6. Bring soup to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 15 more minutes. Season with sea salt and pepper.
  7. The soup can be puréed for a more refined look, or left as is for a more rustic presentation.
  8. Ladle into bowls, pour in a drizzle of olive oil and a spoon or 2 of Parmesan cheese.

Serves 6. (If fresh chestnuts are not available, vacuum-packed and canned are sold year round.)

Originally published in TVW. For daily updates, subscribe to the free TVW e-newsletter, or purchase a subscription to the weekly magazine.