Chestnut, cabbage and pancetta soup

Chestnut, cabbage and pancetta soup

Cook for Your Life
Gorta Yuuki (studio) and William Meppem (location)

A lot of people aren’t sure what to do with chestnuts, and they are something often associated with dessert. But their natural sweetness works in savoury dishes too, such as this Italian soup to make in autumn or winter. The chestnuts work very well with the salty pancetta.

To cook chestnuts, slit the skins and boil them for 10–15 minutes until tender, then peel them while hot.


Quantity Ingredient
1 litre water
sea salt
200g cabbage, cut into large chunks
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
75g pancetta, finely chopped
1 long rosemary sprig
500g chestnuts, cooked and peeled, (to yield 250 g)
freshly ground black pepper
185ml white wine


  1. Pour the water into a saucepan and season with salt. Bring to the boil and add the cabbage and garlic. Cover with a lid and cook for 10 minutes until the cabbage is soft. Strain the cabbage and reserve the cooking water. Discard the garlic and finely chop the cabbage when it is cool enough to handle.
  2. Heat the oil in a large heavy-based saucepan. Add the onion and pancetta and fry for 2 minutes, until lightly browned. Add the rosemary sprig and fry for another 2 minutes. Add the chestnuts and cabbage and season with salt and pepper. Increase the heat to high, pour in the wine and bring to the boil. Add the reserved cooking water and return to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for another 15 minutes. Remove the rosemary and serve.
low fat
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