Chestnut soup with rosemary pesto

Still bitterly cold in Zurich. The type of weather that calls for a hearty soup to keep you warm… Randomly found this recipe in Mafalda Pinto Leite’s Cozinha Para Quem Não Tem Tempo [Cooking for those who have no time]. The combination of flavors looked exactly what I was looking for and I even fancied chestnuts, for whatever obscure metabolical reasons. You cannot wrong with this recipe, but this gets hardly done in the 30min she claims it take.  The original recipe called for 150mL of cream to be added at the end. I found it a bit excessive and replaced the cream an equivalent quantity of chicken stock.

It was really good and soul warming. And, it is really worthwhile to make the rosemary… it just gives the soup a little punch, making it more interesting.

Chestnut soup with rosemary pesto

Ingredients for the soup

  • 800g of peeled chestnuts (I used frozen ones)
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil – about 120 mL
  • 2 yellow onions chopped
  • 3 celery sticks sliced
  • 125g bacon slices, shredded
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 red skin potato
  • 1,5L chicken stock

Ingredients for the rosemary pesto

  • 1 table spoon of finely chopped rosemary
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 20g pinenuts
  • salt
  • 40g of grated Parmesan cheese
  • 100 mL olive oil.


Heat the olive oil in a big saucepan until it shimmers. Add the onion, celery, bacon and garlic. Cook for 10min or until the onion get soft and the mix start to color.

Add the chestnuts, the potato and the garlic. Add in salt and pepper to taste.

Bring it to boil, cover, and then let it simmer for about 25min, or until all ingredients are  soft.

In the meanwhile, start the pesto. Put the rosemary, garlic and pinenuts in a mixer. Blend and after, add the cheese and the salt. Add slowly the olive oil, mixing at the same time so you get a creamy mixture.

Finally, blend in the soup (if you want to add cream, this is your chance to do it).

Serve the chestnut cream sprinkled with the pesto.

One Comment on “Chestnut soup with rosemary pesto”

  1. […] moments, inspired and uninspired cooking, every day and festive meals…  Dishes like this chestnut with rosemary pesto, this roasted chicken or this fish wrapped in ham, to mention a few. How to better to celebrate […]

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