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What’s in Season: Chestnuts and pumpkins and make our delicious soup recipe

Recipe and Image Credit: Australian Chestnuts

August is one of those in-between months. The weather is still very chilly, there’s definitely no doubt about that, yet we are all looking ahead to the promise of spring and what the change of seasons will bring.  

Now is definitely a great time to make the most of the last of the winter produce on offer, and use the winter weather as a reason to make delicious, hearty meals like soups and stews.  

Chestnuts are on right now, and one of our most long-standing stallholders, Featherdale Chestnuts, has loads of chestnuts, claimed to be the most versatile nut in the world.  Chestnuts are good for you, being low in fat and also offer a good dose of Vitamin C, along with dietary fibre and antioxidants.  

Pumpkin season is also still going strong. This favourite of the autumn and winter seasons is delicious roasted, baked, and in soups or warm salads, and did you know pumpkins’ health benefits include regulating blood pressure, being a great source of dietary fibre and helping fight disease with antioxidants and plenty of beta-carotene. Fresh pumpkins are available now at Market in several varieties from Luke’s Potatoes and PumpkinsMowbray Park Produce and Ingelara Farm.  

Why not go on a gathering expedition for Market ingredients to cook up a true winter feast. Grab your chestnuts and pumpkins, then head over to Wagga Free Range Pork for some delicious pancetta, and cook up this amazing recipe from Featherdale Chestnuts courtesy of Australian Chestnuts.  

Recipe:  Spicy chestnut, pumpkin and pancetta soup 

Prep time: 20 minutes plus chestnut prep | Cooking time: 40 minutes | Serves: 4 

Ingredients: 

This delicious soup thickens on standing, add extra stock if necessary.  For extra heat, drizzle soup with sriracha hot chilli sauce. 

1 ½ tbsp olive oil 
100g sliced pancetta, chopped 
1 brown onion, finely chopped 
2 celery stalks, sliced 
2 garlic cloves, chopped 
2 long red chillies, deseeded and chopped 
500g cooked and peeled chestnuts 
750g peeled and chopped butternut pumpkin 
5 cups chicken stock 
Reduced fat sour cream and extra sliced long red chilli, to serve 

Method: 

  1. Heat 2 tsp oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add pancetta and cook, stirring often, for 3 minutes or until crispy.  Transfer to a plate.  Set aside. 
  2. Heat the remaining 1 tbsp oil in the pan over medium heat.  Add onion, celery, garlic and chillies and cook, stirring often, for 4-5 minutes until softened.  
  3. Add chestnuts and pumpkin and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.  Stir in stock and three-quarters of the pancetta.  Cover and bring to the boil.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20-25 minutes or until pumpkin and chestnuts are tender. 
  4. Puree soup with a stick blender until smooth.  Season to taste.  Cover and bring to the boil over medium heat.  Ladle soup into serving bowls.  Top each with a dollop of sour cream, the remaining pancetta and extra sliced red chilli and serve. 
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