Serves 2 (as a main meal, or 4 as a starter) | Prep 5 mins | Cook 25 mins

Wean yourself into accepting that Christmas is coming and get into the winter warming mood with this hunky hearty, earthy soup. Based on a traditional peasant meal from Italy but “jujd” up with some classic Christmas flavour; chestnuts, sage and rosemary.

 

For those carnivores out there refusing to eat a meal without meat, you could add some chopped smoked bacon at the same time as the shallots. You can make this a day in advance up to point 6 in the recipe, and then re-heat and continue as required

 

CHICKPEAS – 165g of chickpeas will provide you with the following of your recommended daily intake; 84% manganese (bone production, collagen & skin integrity, blood sugar control and protection against free radical damage), 70% folate (protection from heart disease, can reduce depression, and helps maintain brain function), 64% copper (essential for immune system), 49% fibre ( fantastic digestive support in this dish), 39% phosphorous, and 22% zinc. (SOURCE: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=58 )

 

CHESTNUTS – These relatively low in calorie nuts have an unusual nutritional content. 100g of chestnuts will provide 72% of your vitamin C DRI. Like chickpeas, they are also rich in folates (15% DRI per 100g). Also a great source of potassium, which helps counteract sodium and lowers blood pressure / heart rate. 100G will also give you 100% vitamin B1 (thiamine) DRI, which maintains muscle tone in the digestive tract and aids secretion of hydrochloric acid, a process essential for complete digestion of food particles. (SOURCE: http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/chestnuts.html )

Ingredient.

1 ½ cans chickpeas (I use one full can and one of the half cans you can get), drained

200g cooked chestnuts

100ml white wine

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4 sage leaves

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 shallots, finely sliced

2 garlic cloves, smashed

1-2 rosemary sprig (dependant on how much you like rosemary!)

Parmesan / Pecorino Romano cheese- a good, heavy grating of

 

Method.

  1. Heat the oil in a deep sauce-pan, and over a medium to low heat let the smashed garlic, whole rosemary sprig and sage leaves sizzle slightly in the pan for a few minutes.
  2. Add the shallots and continue to cook for another few minutes until translucent.
  3. Add the wine and let it bubble out for a minute.
  4. Add the chickpeas and top the pan up with hot water so the chickpeas are just about covered.
  5. Bring to the boil and then transfer half of the soup into a blender, food processor, or use a hand blender in a jug. Blitz until smooth and return to the pan.
  6. Mix together to combine and now add your chestnuts. Keep the heat simmering the soup for the next 10-15 minutes.
  7. Remove rosemary sprig. Grate in your parmesan or pecorino romano cheese. You’ll want quite a bit but reserve some for sprinkling on top once in bowls. Serve.