Pumpkin & Winter Vegetable Soup with Roasted Chestnuts

We’ve hit a bit of a warm stretch here in Boston – it topped out around 45º today.  Do you think I’m joking?  Because, funnily enough, I’m not.  After the frigid temperatures we’ve been having, 45º found me with my coat unzipped and commenting on what a warm day we were having.  So it goes in these parts…

Even so, a hot bowl of soup is on my dinner table many a night this time of year and this little number has become one of my winter favorites.  It’s quick and easy enough to make if you’re serving a special lunch, satisfying enough on its own or with some fresh bread for dinner, and absolutely perfect as an unconventional cocktail party hors d’oeuvre.  I served it as one of the heavy appetizers at my daughters’ birthday party in December.  In teeny tiny mugs (I used espresso mugs) it looks adorable and somehow makes it seem more special than your everyday soup.

Now let’s talk about what’s on the inside.  There are lots of great vegetables in here that make up that gorgeous orange color: onions, pumpkin, butternut squash, fennel, carrot, and celery.  It’s like a salad in a soup bowl!  If you find you have a hard time getting your daily dose of veggies, this soup may be your saving grace.

The flavors manage to be both simple and complex.  The sweetness from the pumpkin and butternut are balanced perfectly by the mellow onion and fennel.  A sprinkling of sliced roasted chestnuts adds a bit of texture to an otherwise silky smooth soup and adds such a rich, interesting counterpoint to the other flavors in the soup.

This was my first time roasting chestnuts and I followed this simple tutorial.

My grandmom had given me a bag of fresh chestnuts from her friend’s tree so I had them to use, but you can often find them in stores already roasted and peeled.  While I loved the sweet, nutty, buttery taste they added, if you have trouble finding them or they just aren’t your thing, a sprinkling of toasted pumpkin seeds would be a nice garnish as well.

Pumpkin and Winter Squash Soup with Roasted Chestnuts
Serves 6 as an entree

3 tbsp. olive oil
2 yellow onions, chopped
1 small or 1/2 large fennel bulb, chopped
1 15-oz. can pumpkin
1 1/2 lbs. butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1″ chunks
1 large carrot, peeled and cut into 1″ chunks
2 celery stalks, cut into 1″ pieces
3 c. chicken stock
1 c. half and half
1 c. roasted chestnuts, sliced

Heat the olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat.  Add the onions and fennel and cook until translucent, about 10 minutes.

Add pumpkin, butternut, carrot, celery, and chicken stock.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cover and simmer 20 minutes.

Remove from heat and use an immersion blender to puree the soup (can also puree in batches in a blender or food processor).  Whisk in half and half and taste for seasoning.  Add more salt and pepper if desired.

Ladle into soup bowls and top with sliced chestnuts.

Click here for printable recipe.
Adapted from Ina Garten’s Winter Squash Soup.

Linking to The Winthrop Chronicles, Silver Pennies, The Shabby Nest, Craftberry Bush.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07777242694409071504 Becky {This Is Happiness}

    yumminess! and your presentation and pictures are amazing!!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04384800691743644061 Chloe West

    Sounds amazing! I absolutely love your photography!I’d love for you to come share this at my link party! http://rainbowsandhoneysuckle.blogspot.com/2013/01/craft-yourself-crazy-link-party-2.htmlChloe

    • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04707073682080677083 Jennifer {The Chronicles of Home}

      Thanks, Chloe!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09347308698763247516 Marina D

    This looks so good and I love your pictures. I’ve been wanting to make something with chestnuts and this looks perfect!

    • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04707073682080677083 Jennifer {The Chronicles of Home}

      They were so good, I’m so glad I had the chance to try them!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03470632120877499280 Jen @ The Social Home

    Oh my looks so yummy! And could totally be vegan-hacked!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05865026295044485524 Jennifer @ Town and Country Living

    Beautiful photos and styling. Gonna try this recipe but will swap out the chicken broth since I’m vegetarian. Thanks for the recipe!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/18283496203101220381 Tessa

    This sounds so good! I love the Ina version! I will def give yours a try too!! xo, Tessa

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06500914849497840627 Danielle

    Yum! This is making me crave soup right now. I agree, I’m also close to Boston, and this time of year makes me crave soup rather than salads. I can’t wait to try this recipe. Thank you so much for linking up to my Silver Pennies Sunday link party.