This chestnut and watercress soup is a peppery and gently sweet soup. It takes less than 20 minutes from start to serving. It’s a super healthy soup and just right when you are in a rush but want something tasty and nourishing.
Watercress reminds me of my grandmother. She would always have some in the fridge and, as young child I was always rather afraid of those green stems. I was happy with iceberg lettuce but watercress was a trick as far as I was concerned. From the look of it you would think it was just a gently flavoured leaf but then you ate it and got this crazy surprise, a seriously hot flavour that would almost sting my small tongue. At 8 years it was frankly mean. Now I love that punch, that kick to the mouth that fresh watercress gives. In this soup just a hint of that tang remains. It’s perfectly balanced with the sweetness of the creamy chestnuts.
Chestnuts are not something I normally get excited about. You know those ones you can sometimes buy hot from a fire on the street. I wonder if it’s because I’ve never had really good ones. They are difficult to peel while doing your Christmas shopping and are rather disappointing when you get into them. Hard lumps of not very much.
Cooked and pureed chestnuts become sweet, creamy and nutty. They become delicious. This soup has both chestnut puree and cooked chestnuts in it. Meaning you get that great sweetness but also the different texture that cooked chestnuts add. If you can’t get hold of one type, just use the equivalent weight of the other.
Getting this chestnut and watercress soup going takes 10 minutes, then it simmers for 5, then you blitz it, so your soup is on the table in under 20 minutes. Need I say more. This soup is already a regular feature in our kitchen. Both children have enjoyed it too, so it’s an all round family pleaser.
It doesn’t include potato. A leek is used to provide flavour and bulk without the graininess that potatoes can add. Also, this watercress and chestnut soup is low fat, particularly if you forget the drizzle of cream on the top, and low in carbs.
Chestnut and watercress soup – less than 20 mins & super healthy
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 13 minutes
- Total Time: 18 minutes
- Yield: 4
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 onion, roughly diced
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 leek, roughly chopped into coin shaped discs
- 200g watercress
- 180g cooked whole chestnuts
- 200g chestnut puree
- 500ml veg stock
- Salt and pepper
- To serve – a drizzle of cream optional
- In a large saucepan with a lid, heat the oil over a medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and leek. Stir well, cover with the lid and cook gently for 5 minutes.
- Add the watercress. Reserve 3 chestnuts to act as a garnish; add the rest and the chestnut puree to the pan. Pour over the stock, stir well, replace lid and bring to the boil then reduce heat so the soup simmers for 5 minutes.
- Blend with a stick blender and then check the seasoning and adjust to taste.
- To serve, put the soup into four bowls and top each bowl with a drizzle of cream, if using.