Creamy chestnut soup is the perfect starter for your Christmas dinner (or any cold-weather meal). It’s sweet and nutty, with an earthy flavour, thanks to roasted chestnuts. It’s simple to prepare and can be made ahead for ease of entertaining.
This recipe was originally published in December 2019. It has been updated for content, photos, and video.
Make this vegan chestnut soup recipe for a unique Christmas starter. Or enjoy it on any chilly evening.
It’s warming and the perfect bowl to cosy up to on a cold day.
As an added bonus, this chestnut soup is not only vegan, but it’s gluten-free and nut-free too, making it suitable for most dietary needs.
Ingredients + Substitutions
Here’s everything you’ll need to make this delicious vegan chestnut soup.
- Chestnuts: Use chestnuts that are roasted, shelled, and ready to eat. I buy mine in 100-gram bags, so you’ll need five bags for this dish. They also come in a jar, which works just as well. Use anywhere between 450-550 grams.
- OR you may roast and peel your own chestnuts if you’d like. Here’s a great resource to roast your own chestnuts.
- Shallots + Leeks: Adds sweetness and mild onion flavour, without overpowering the chestnuts.
- Potatoes: I like yellow potatoes for their creamy/buttery texture.
- Celery + Carrot: Added veggies and the start to any great soup.
- Vegetable Broth: I use our homemade bouillon powder (low-sodium version) for the best flavour.
- Spices: Seasoning including ground ginger, and ground cloves amp up the holiday flavour. Plus salt and pepper, to taste.
- Tofu: I like soft or silken tofu to make the chestnut soup ultra-creamy. It also boosts the protein content and replaces the need for fat-ridden heavy cream.
- NOTE: Even if you don’t like tofu, you won’t taste it! If you’re avoiding soy for health reasons, you may use your favourite plant-based milk instead.
(This is a summary with step by step photos, full recipe measurements and instructions are in the recipe card below.)
Start by gathering all your ingredients and chopping up your veggies.
How to wash leeks
- First, quarter the leek lengthwise and then slice it into roughly one-inch pieces. (Doesn’t need to be perfect, since they’ll be pureed later.)
- Place the cut pieces in a large colander and rinse well in your kitchen sink to get the dirt out of each groove. (Leeks tend to have a lot of dirt in between their layers, unlike onions.)
For the chestnut soup
Melt the butter (if using) in a large saucepan and sauté the shallot, leek, carrot, and celery. (photo 1)
Then add all the remaining ingredients (except tofu) and simmer over medium heat. (photo 2)
NOTE: For oil-free, use 3-4 tablespoons of water or broth to sauté the veggies in step 1, and skip the vegan butter.
Discard the bay leaves and use a hand blender to puree the chestnut soup. (photo 3)
Then add the tofu and blend again. Taste, and add salt and pepper, if needed. (photo 4)
NOTE: If you don’t have an immersion blender, you may transfer the soup in batches to a stand blender. Use caution when pureeing hot liquids, and do not overfill the blender.
What to serve it with
Pair this yummy chestnut soup with crusty bread for a more filling dish.
I use this hand blender (affiliate link) to puree the soup. It’s easy, with no need to transfer anything or work in batches, and makes less mess. It results in a wonderfully creamy consistency.
Keep leftovers in the fridge for 3-4 days in a sealed container.
Or freeze the chestnut soup in a freezer-safe airtight container for up to 3 months. Make sure to leave a little room for expansion.
Can I make it in advance?
Yes! In fact, this chestnut soup tastes even better the next day once the flavours have been absorbed. So if possible, I recommend making it ahead of time.
- For oil-free, use 3-4 tablespoons of water or broth to sauté the veggies and skip the vegan butter.
- If you don’t have an immersion blender, you may transfer the soup in batches to a stand blender. Use caution when pureeing hot liquids, and do not overfill the blender.
- Make the soup in advance if time allows, as the flavours get even better the next day.
More delicious vegan soup recipes
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- 1 tablespoon vegan butter omit and sauté using broth for oil-free
- 2 shallots diced
- 1 large leek chopped
- 1 large carrot peeled & chopped
- 1 large celery rib diced
- 1 pound yellow potatoes peeled & cubed (approx. 2 large)
- 500 grams shelled roasted chestnuts ready to eat (reserve a couple for a garnish if desired)
- 6 cups low sodium vegetable broth
- 2 bay leaves
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- 300 grams soft tofu always use GMO free when possible
- salt + pepper to taste
- Melt the butter (if using) in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the chopped shallot, leek, carrot, and celery. Sauté until slightly reduced, approx 5 minutes.
- Add the potatoes, chestnuts, broth, bay leaves, and seasoning. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, and stir occasionally. Turn off the heat and remove/discard the bay leaves. Then use an immersion blender to puree the soup. Add the tofu and puree again until smooth. Taste the soup and add salt and pepper if needed.
- Serve garnished with chives, cashew cream, chopped chestnut pieces, and/or vegan bacon bits if desired.