This is a smooth, creamy and completely delectable soup that will warm you up from the inside on cold day. It has been adapted from a wonderful book called Recipes for Self-Healing by Daverick Leggett.

Ingredients (for 4)

1 cup dried chestnuts, soaked over night
2 Tbsp coconut oil
2 brown onions
2 cloves garlic, minced
1kg cubed pumpkin (butternut or Japanese)
1L vegetable stock
1 bay leaf
1 tsp rosemary
1 tsp apple cider vinegar or more to taste
1 tsp herbamare salt
pepper to taste
Parsley to garnish

Method

Pre-soak the chestnuts overnight or use fresh chestnuts if available.
You can pick your own chestnuts in Mt Wilson, NSW, from mid March to mid May.
Chop the onions roughly and fry in the oil with the garlic until softened.
Cube the pumpkin, removing the skin and seeds, and sweat with the onions and garlic, turning occasionally until it starts to soften.
Add the vegetable stock, chestnuts, bay leaf and rosemary.  Simmer for 40 minutes, remove the bay leaf and purée the soup adding a splash of cider vinegar and salt and pepper to taste.
Serve garnished with parsley.

Who would benefit from this recipe 
This recipe is ideal for those who don’t like the cold and feel more tired in winter as both Pumpkins and Chestnuts are sweet and warm and nourishing to the digestive system so you can create more Qi (energy) to get through the winter. They are both also high in Vitamin C which is a great boost to the immune system to avoid winter colds and flu.

Garlic is a wonderful warming food that is great in winter as it is potentially a powerful antibiotic and studies show that it could protect against hip osteoarthritis.

Rosemary is a rich source of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, which are thought to help boost the immune system and improve blood circulation.

Chestnuts are a great winter nut. They are sweet and warm and not only support your digestion but also warm your kidneys. This is important as the kidneys don’t like to be cold especially in winter. In Chinese medicine the kidneys correspond with the Water element and the winter season so this is when they need the most tender loving care.

Chestnuts are high in vitamin C and antioxidants which is good for boosting your immunity in autumn and winter.
They are high in copper which is important to help your body absorb iron (to nourish your blood) and also crucial for bone growth and development (the kidneys rule the bones in Chinese medicine).
They contain magnesium which is also very good for increasing bone mineral density and helping your body relax so you blood can flow more freely. In Chinese medicine pain is all about stagnation so increasing blood flow reduces pain.
The potassium found in chestnuts can increase blood flow to the brain and promote good nervous system health as well as help lower blood pressure.
Chestnuts are high in folate and other B vitamins which are beneficial for proper neurological development and function.
They contain high levels of essential fatty acids that help to balance cholesterol, and reduce inflammation throughout your body.
Their high fibre content makes them a low glycemic index food so your blood sugar levels will rise slowly and your bowels will move more easily.

So over all they are a pretty good nut and help make a very nourishing soup. Enjoy!

If you would like to find out more about using food as medicine have a look at these great workshops

Your feedback and questions are always welcome so please leave a comment below.

For further information on Chinese Medicine  contact  Tania Grasseschi (Acupuncture, Chinese Herbs and Wholefood counselling).    Tania is a practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine  (AHPRA  registered) in  Kingsford  and  is a Contract Academic  at the  Endeavour College of Natural Health  Sydney campus.