Creamy Cauliflower and Chestnut Soup

I love thick and creamy soups in the winter. This is a perfect Christmas starter or served as a delicious winter lunch in itself. It's also a quick and easy recipe to make and stores in the fridge for three days, so it's a good one when you've got enough to do! 

Unlike most other nuts, chestnuts contain little protein or fat and mostly provide complex carbs. They offer an excellent source of manganese, copper and magnesium. In addition, they contain lots of vitamin C as well as vitamins B1, B2, and B6 and folic acid.

A brilliant source of antioxidants and naturally creamy and sweet, you can use chestnuts in a wide variety of both savoury and sweet recipes. But this quick and simple soup has got to be one of my favourites. 

INGREDIENTS

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 leek

2 white onions

4 sticks celery

1 head cauliflower

180g cooked chestnuts

3 vegan bacon rashers (optional) 

1 litre vegan bouillon 

METHOD

Warm the olive oil in a saucepan and saute the onions for 5-7 minutes until they begin to soften. Add the leek and celery and continue to stir over a low heat

Add the cauliflower and chestnuts to the pan, pour over 1 litre of vegan stock which should cover the veg and bring to the boil

In a separate frying pan, use a little olive oil to fry the vegan bacon rashers and sourdough croutons. They should only need two or three minutes. Add two of the rashers to the soup

Simmer the soup over a medium heat for around 15 minutes until the cauliflower begins to soften. Allow to cool 

Blitz the soup using a hand blender or if you want a really creamy texture use a nutribullet cup to blend to a smooth finish

Serve garnished with croutons, grated nutmeg, strips of the final vegan bacon strip and black pepper

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