Rich and satisfying, this soup makes a great starter for a special holiday dinner, or it can double as an easily-made winter treat if chemo or radiation have brought you down, and you need some healthy comfort and some extra calories to sustain you.

20 min prep

4 servings 

14 ingredients 


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 small fennel bulb, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
  • ½ cup chopped celery
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cloves
  • 5 large sage leaves
  • 2 cups broth or water
  • 1 teaspoon white wine or cider vinegar
  • 1 (14-ounce) jar chestnuts
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt (optional)


  1. Heat the olive oil in a stockpot over medium heat. Add the onion, fennel, garlic, and celery. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook until the onions begin to turn translucent, then cover and let sweat for 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, make a bouquet garni by putting the thyme, bay leaf, cloves and sage leaves into a square of cheese cloth and tying it closed from the corners.
  3. Add the chestnuts to the onion mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add the bouquet garni and broth. Bring to boil, then simmer for 20 minutes.
  4. Add the vinegar and cook for 3 minutes. Remove the herbs, puree the soup, and heat through. Stir in the yogurt. Taste for seasoning.
Nutrition Facts (per serving): 

Calories: 354; Fat: 12g; Saturated Fat: 4g; Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g; Monounsaturated Fat: 6g; Carbohydrates: 54g; Sugar: 5g; Fiber: 3g; Protein: 8g; Sodium: 867mg

Chef Tips:

If you can’t find the vacuum packed chestnuts or a jar, look for unsweetened chestnut puree and stir it into the soup after the other ingredients have been pureed in step 4. Return the bouquet garni to the soup. Cook 5 -10 minutes to heat the puree through at a low simmer and to blend the flavors. Stir frequently to make sure the soup doesn’t stick. Remove the herbs before serving.

Registered Dietitian Approved
All our recipes are created by chefs and reviewed by our Registered Dietitian Kate Ueland, MS, RD, CSO, a board-certified specialist in oncology nutrition, to ensure that each is backed with scientific evidence and follows the guidelines set by the  Oncology Nutrition for Clinical Practice, 2nd Ed.,  published by the Oncology Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group, a professional interest group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
This recipe was originally published on Cook for Your Life. It is used by permission.
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