Healthy lentil + chestnut soup Recipe

Tonify Qi and Yang for the winter season

Here is a recipe for a warming winter soup with hearty lentils and added chestnuts for the perfect seasonal nod.


Here is a recipe for a warming winter soup with hearty lentils and added chestnuts for the perfect seasonal nod. Diet is such an important part of health from the Chinese medicine perspective. These ingredients are a wonderful combination and antidote to how run down and taxed we can feel at this time of year. The lentils are an ideal qi tonic, and the chestnuts are a warm and sweet yang tonic to fuel our metabolism. This keeps our bodies’ functions supplied with the energy they need to maintain us in good health. 


  • 225g red lentils, thoroughly rinsed under cold water
  • 1 tablespoon butter or ghee (replace with olive oil if dairy free)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 red onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 leek, washed and roughly chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 – 2 litres vegetable stock (either made up with stock cube / bouillon, or make your own for added goodness)
  • 225g vacuum packed cooked chestnuts


  1. Pour 2 tablespoons olive oil (or a mix of oil and ghee) into a heavy bottomed pan over a medium heat.
    Add finely diced onion, leek, carrot and celery and cook until softened (tip: if speed is of the essence, you can blitz all of the vegetable ingredients in the food processor until they are finely minced).
  2. Add the lentils, stir well to coat them, then add in stock.
    Simmer until the lentils are fully cooked, soft and almost mushy.
  3. Add the chestnuts and cook everything for a further 10 minutes.
  4. Use a stick blender (or whatever you have) to blend into a smooth, creamy and heartening soup. Add a swirl of cream, if you like, to serve.

Quick, comforting, and perfect for the season. Let us know if you try it! (This recipe is based on a Nigella Lawson recipe in her cookbook ‘How to Eat’).

By Amanda Gordon, Acupuncturist at Life + Lemons Acupuncture Clinic.

ABOUT AMANDA, Acupuncturist

Amanda Gordon PG Dip Ac, BA (Oxon), MSc, MBAcC.

Amanda is a registered TCM (Traditional Chinese Medical) Acupuncturist and a member of the British Acupuncture Council, the Professional Standards Authority representing practitioners of acupuncture in the UK educated to degree standard. She holds a postgraduate qualification from the prestigious Northern College of Acupuncture in York following three years of MSc level study.

Among her clinical interests, Amanda is particularly interested in the use of acupuncture to alleviate day to day strains of headache and migraine, insomnia and stress and anxiety. She is passionate about supporting women through the physiological and emotional demands of pregnancy and the postpartum period. She completed in-depth research on the application of auricular acupuncture to reduce preoperative anxiety in surgical patients.

Amanda is committed to bringing the full benefit of modern clinical research into her practice and keeps up to date with the latest research on acupuncture emerging from clinical trials.

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