This hearty Brussel sprout soup is easy to make and delicious whether you think you're a Brussel(s) sprout fan or not. The crisp bacon and chestnut topping adds a wonderful sweet-salty flavor with every mouthful.
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This time of year it is definitely feeling like soup weather more and more. The leaves are almost all on the ground, waiting for my son to jump in them and throw them everywhere. We're dodging acorns falling when we're in the park and we need to negotiate on a few more layers when we go out.
We have a number of favorite soups, like avgolemono soup, Scotch broth and roast tomato soup being high up there. I've also always been a fan of root vegetable varieties like lemongrass squash soup and roasted apple and acorn squash soup. These's a bigger list, of course, but let me just tell you about this one for now.
More often than not, the soups we have are based on the vegetables we have in the house. Meanwhile, some vegetables I just don't tend to buy often or get in our veg box.
This Brussel sprout soup is very much one that came from trying to use up a veg we received that I don't choose to buy that much myself. But this comforting soup is so delicious, I can see them being on our shopping list more often.
An un-loved veg
Brussels sprouts, or Brussel sprouts as some spell them (and how I grew up spelling them in the UK), are a bit of an underrated vegetable. They are one of those that many people are at least not a fan of, if not really hate.
But I think they're maybe largely a victim of having so often been poorly cooked. Especially if you are British, you have probably had them overcooked and bland at one too many Christmas meals. Particularly those school cafeteria meals where they've been sitting out being kept warm for hours. Yuck.
These little veg do have more to offer, though, such as raw in a slaw, such as with my sweet potato tacos, as well as pan-fried or roasted as a side. You can even make them more of a meal like in my vegan lentil salad with roasted Brussels sprouts. Plus they're great in soups like this.
Even if you are not normally a Brussels sprout fan I would encourage you to give this soup a try as it's so hearty and delicious and really not that sprout-like. Plus there's bacon, which can only be a good thing.
Steps to make this Brussel sprout soup
- Cook the bacon a minute to render some of the fat - you don't need to add any oil, it will be enough.
- Add the onion and cook a few minutes until the onions softens.
- Meanwhile, peel and chop the potato and Brussel sprouts, then add them to the pot.
- Let the vegetables sweat and color a couple minutes then add the stock.
- Simmer the soup a few minutes until the vegetables are tender.
- Meanwhile cook the bacon and chestnuts for the topping - get them nice and crisp! Then, drain and set aside.
- Puree the soup, top with the bacon and chestnuts and serve.
While the topping technically isn't necessary, to me it so is. Both for flavor and texture, to me it really makes the soup. You get a lovely little bit of crisp deliciousness with each mouthful as you eat.
Making Brussel sprout soup with leftovers
This Brussel sprout soup is also be a great way to use up leftovers, as you can just as easily make this starting with cooked Brussels sprouts and potatoes.
All you do is skip the part where you sweat the veg and simply add just enough stock to cover the vegetables once they are warm through. You will only need to simmer around 5 minutes before blending.
Don't worry about being too precise on the amount of each vegetable or the bacon, you just want roughly equal amounts of Brussel sprouts and potatoes (or slightly more Brussel sprouts).
This Brussel sprout soup has a lovely creamy texture and is full of rich bacony flavor alongside the tasty vegetables. The crisp bacon and chestnut on top give a little saltiness and sweetness as you scoop up the soup itself.
It's wonderfully warming and just the thing as temperatures drop. I know I'll be making a point of getting some more Brussel sprouts to make it again soon.
Looking for more soup recipes? Try these:
- Delicata squash soup with curried chickpeas and onions
- Irish fish chowder
- Carrot, sweet potato and mushroom soup
- Plus get more inspiration in the fall recipes archives.
Brussel sprout soup with crispy bacon and chestnut
- 2 slices smoked bacon (streaky) or 3, if you want a little more
- ½ onion small/medium
- 8 oz potatoes 210g
- 10 oz Brussels sprouts 285g
- 1 ½ cups stock 360ml, chicken or vegetable, possibly a little more
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg (optional)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3 slices smoked bacon cut in small slices
- 6 cooked chestnuts approx, broken into chunks
- Cut the bacon into slices and put into a pan over a medium heat. Dice the onion and once the fat starts to render from the bacon, add the onion to the pan. Cook, stirring regularly for 2-3 minutes.
- Meanwhile peel the potatoes and dice. Take the outer layer and ends off the Brussel sprouts and cut in half. Add both to the pan, stir, then cover and reduce heat slightly.
- Allow the vegetables to sweat for around 10min until the potato is tender to a knifepoint, stirring occasionally. Don't worry if things stick to the bottom of the pan and color a bit, it all adds to the flavor, just don't let them burn.
- Add the stock, nutmeg and some salt and pepper to taste to the pan (bear in mind you have bacon in there so you won't need much salt). Cover and bring to a boil then simmer for around 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, put the bacon for the topping in a small skillet/frying pan and cook over a medium heat. Once the fat starts to render, add the chestnuts. Continue to cook until both are crispy, stirring now and then.
- Remove the soup pan from the heat and puree the soup in a blender/with a stick/ immersion blender.
- Serve the soup with the crispy bacon and chestnuts on top.
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This post was originally posted in November 2015 and has been updated, primarily with new photos.