healthy soup recipe

Squash Aduki Chestnut Soup

This healthy soup recipe is perfect on a chilly day! Full of delicious naturally sweet squash and chestnuts, hearty aduki beans, as well as nourishing kale, it will warm you to the bone. Better yet? It’s a one pot meal that can be thrown together quickly, and it’s good for you too! This easy soup recipe is wonderful for those with gluten, dairy, and other allergies.

Over the last month I have received comments here from numerous people despondent over their dietary options, or lack thereof. The touching aspect? Each person thanks me profusely for this website, for providing them with options and offering new ways to enjoy the foods they can eat.

The heartbreaking aspect of these same emails? People express their feelings of loneliness and isolation. If you are feeling isolated because of your dietary restrictions (heck, I don’t eat soy, corn, potatoes, grains, and white sugar) then feel free to leave a comment right here sharing your trials and tribulations.

Those of us on a restricted diet can gather here for community.

Whether you come to this site because you have dietary dilemmas or you just like to eat good food, join in and let us all know about one of the following:

-Do you have a special success/disaster cooking story?
-Is there a particular dish that you take to parties that wows people?
-What advice would you like to hear from others?

Go ahead, leave a comment; let all of us out here know what’s on your mind.

Squash Aduki Chestnut Soup
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • 1 leek, washed and chopped
  • 1 cup butternut or acorn squash, peeled and cubed
  • 2 quarts chicken stock or vegetable stock
  • 1 cup aduki beans, cooked
  • 1 cup chestnuts, cooked
  • 1 head kale, chopped
  1. In a large soup pot, warm oil over medium-high heat
  2. Sauté leek for 10 minutes until soft
  3. Add squash and sauté for 5 minutes
  4. Pour stock into pan and bring to a simmer
  5. Add aduki beans, chestnuts and kale
  6. Simmer for ½ hour to allow flavors to meld
  7. Serve

Here in Colorado, it is cold and snowy yet again! Today, I will be making another big pot of this Squash Aduki Chestnut Soup to warm my bones. I love this healthy soup recipe!


  1. Renee says

    Hi Elana, I just got on your blog after being at the farmers market today, where a mushroom vendor mentioned your Thai chicken soup. So I haven’t even browsed yet, but your request on that page (about Jeanne’s question here) made me want to respond so here I am. :) while reading all the above comments, I kept thinking about the Whole30 people. While they aren’t specifically talking to or about celiac sufferers, they have all the restrictions in place that you mentioned, along with a great (free access) support group including a panel of moderators. There are enough recipes just linked to one of their question & answer pages to keep life interesting, and there are links to other paleo bloggers as well. I haven’t joined any of these groups; I fall into the category someone mentioned above, where I need a recipe or information and search for it. Also, I don’t suffer anything as traumatic as celiac disease, but tried the Whole30 last year for a chance to figure out just what exactly might be my triggers. My husband saw my results and decided to join me, and we never did go entirely back to our old eating habits because we both feel and look!) so much better now. Just thinking that a lot of your readers might find it worth looking at. BTW, I was able to check out the first book they wrote (It Starts With Food) from my library, and it had a whole section for people with severe dietary problems and restrictions. They also included adaptations to several recipes that fit the most restrictive diets. Sorry this is long; I get a bit carried away, knowing so many people are miserable and don’t know why, while the answer seems so available.

  2. J.J. says

    chestnuts. Yesterday I discovered what I didn’t know about chestnuts. I’d like to see a couple paragraphs of explanation. Seemingly there are at least two types – if not more. The waterchestnuts – can also be a flour product – and then the “nut” that comes from a tree – is also a flour product. So, when these receipes call for chestnuts – how do I know which chestnut flour to use?

    • Renee says

      You don’t use chestnuts ground into a flour; check the link here and it will take you to a page that shows the chestnuts they mean. (The kind that grows on trees.) My guess is, they need to be sliced or chopped at least a bit, since they go in at the same time as the beans and kale. But your question fave me an idea:since fresh chestnuts are seasonal and hard to prepare, I’m going to try this first with some sliced water chestnuts. If I like the soup enough, I might try it again in the winter, when chestnuts appear in the store. It would be a nice use for them.

      • Christine says

        The water chestnut is not a nut at all, but an aquatic vegetable that grows in marshes, underwater, in the mud. It has tube-shaped, leafless green stems that grow to approximately 1.5 metres. The small, rounded corms have a crisp white flesh and may be eaten raw, slightly boiled, or grilled and, often, are pickled or tinned. They are a popular ingredient in Chinese dishes. In China, they are most often eaten raw, sometimes sweetened. They also may be ground into a flour form used for making water chestnut cake, which is common as part of dim sum cuisine.

        The chestnut group is a genus (Castanea) of eight or nine species of deciduous trees and shrubs in the beech family Fagaceae, native to temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere.
        The name also refers to the edible nuts they produce.

  3. Amanda says

    I will be getting leeks, butternut squash, and kale in my CSA delivery tomorrow and will definitely be making this soup later in the week. Thanks for the healthy almost-fall soup recipe (thought I know this post is kinda dated).

  4. says


    Wow! Congrats on everything above: finding your naturopath, getting blood work done, sticking with a food program and doing so even while working in a candy store! You are amazing. It would be great if you could share your story in the forums.


  5. Shannon says

    I found your website about a month ago and I have enjoyed it immensely. The only recipe that I have made so far is the Simple Bread. And even with my terrible oven, it still came out pretty good!

    Jeanne had asked for us to share our stories, so here’s mine:
    ~~I have always been sluggish and had A.D.D. symptoms but was never tested. Finally at the age of 36 I found an on-line ADD test and it was confirmed. Not wanting to go the conventional route, I read up a little bit on the natural approach to ADD. A co-worker suggest I find a Naturopath, so did, and boy am I ever glad!

    She did a blood test for food intolerences and everything that I was eating almost daily was dragging me down. Wheat, Cane Sugar, Cow Dairy, Eggs & Garlic were the biggest culprits. Now after 6 months of cutting those foods out and a few different supplements a day I have lost 23 lbs, and have NEVER felt better. Even my seasonal allergies were practically non-existant (I usually wind up on anti-biotics for Sinus infections.)
    I have started to rotate some of the foods back in and still feel great. But I will continue trying Elana’s recipes!

    Did I mention that I work in a Chocolate Shop and I haven’t had Chocolate in 6 months! (cane sugar and milk traces) If I can do it anyone can!!!

  6. says

    Annette -This is a great point. There are definitely false positives when blood testing for celiac. Also, if a person is not on the SAD (i.e., is avoiding wheat and gluten) the test will not be accurate as the test looks for immuno-response to gluten. Thanks for your comment.

  7. Annette says

    Just because the blood test doesn’t indicate Celiac you could still have Celiac. I have a friend who tested negative the first time but since her son has Celiac and she had symptoms she had the biopsy which showed positive for Celiac.

  8. says

    Thanks for sharing this great info! If only Jeanne lived in CO, we could all meet up and chat at one of my cooking classes…
    xo Elana

  9. Anina says

    Hello Jeanne & Elana

    I just want to try to answer some of Jeanne’s questions. I had the same struggle finding out which food allergies my son has. He had all the symptoms but blood tests came back negative all the time. A holistic doctor introduced me to Dr Kenneth Fine from Enterolab – He does food allergies using a stool test. You can order the test online, it is very affordable.
    For more information on why a blood test is not always positive read:
    A book that I can recommend is Wheat-Free Worry-Free by Danna Korn.
    Dr Rodney Ford has 2 video’s on that are also very informative.
    There is still so much I can share with you, let me know if you want to get in touch sometime.

    Take care

  10. says

    Hi Jeanne,
    It is always good to hear from you. I have been diagnosed with celiac, though like you, I found other food sensitivities through trial and error and listening to my body; my digestive system gives me pretty clear signals about what works and what doesn’t. I am glad that you are feeling better after 9 months of eliminating many different foods. You ask, “why am I so sensitive?” I think that many people are walking around in ill health without a diagnosis (say arthritis for example) and would feel better if they realized they were “sensitive” like you and me. Such a large portion of our population suffers from ill health; many do not tune into their bodies until it is more than a food sensitivity. This is just one viewpoint –what do you think?
    Per your daughter, if she is still on a wheat based diet then you can get the following tests done to check for auto-immune response to gluten; they are listed here on my site. Any doc worth their salt at Kaiser will do a blood test on your daughter for celiac -especially given her symptomology –underweight/malnourishment, a possible sign of celiac.

  11. says

    Being new to this dietary restriction thing, I am curious as to how other people came to know their sensitivity to foods.

    It’s been a confounding process for me! The doctors (of western medicine) do not help here. I have had good nutritional advice from a chiropractic neurologist here in the SF bay area (Dr. Jim Otis) but have had to work out my diet mainly on my own with very little guidance. I’ve learned that my body is the best judge, but that has been a rough path of trial and error. I’ve gotten down to the basic foods-organic veggies and fruit, organic meats, nuts, seeds, and goat milk (is that really all?!!!) I still use honey and some sugar but in minimal amounts, and I stay away from soy mostly (but use some wheatfree tamari).

    Since it has only been about 9 months now, and I feel so much better, I am still trying to piece together what is happening to my body. Why am I so sensitive? I am 47 and wondering, does this happen often? I had such a drastic decline in my general health over the last 5 years. My immune system crashed in September.
    I did a bit of testing for celiac, not clear on that front. But I do worry about my daughter who is 9 1/2 yrs and teeny tiny (49 lbs) I try to feed her the food I eat but she’s all over the place with her diet, still on gluten. I could get her tested for celiac. I don’t know if the standard tests at Kaiser are reliable or if we should go elsewhere for testing.

    So, I am still looking for answers and don’t always know where to turn.
    thanks for reading

  12. says

    Elana- Aww…*blush*…thank you!

    Another idea is to steer discouraged people toward their local Celiac Disease Group where they can meet and encourage others in their local area along with sharing tips on coping.

    Re:Moderating- I’m not sure. If you recall, we had a messageboard/forum and had to pull the plug because it kept getting spammed with porn and I didn’t know how to keep up with THAT! Some of it was really bad and I didn’t even want to look at it while deleting the stuff. *sigh* Maybe if it is through YahooGroups they have built in filters.

  13. says

    K -Thanks for your comment. I will check foodallergykitchen and also refer people there. Yes, gluten-free girl does offer so much more than food, her narrative is so compelling.

    I despair when people send me emails describing their distress and isolation; sometimes after reading these I feel sad. At this point, I am pleased with the comments that have begun emerging over here. My hope is that people begin to speak with each other/share in the comment section.

    Meanwhile, you are my favorite gluten-free activist and I want everyone to check out your post here:

    I wonder what it would be like to moderate a group together. Not sure I can take much more on, though the idea is intriguing…BTW, am eating one of your simple bars right now as I write this comment.

  14. says

    Maybe we should start a group that is gf/cf and relatively healthy without cornsyrup,refined sugars,white refined flours and anything artificial? Yahoo groups are great! Maybe one already exists like this that we don’t know about? I also

    Also, dont’ be too discouraged about all of GFGirl’s comments. She has a warm/fuzzy following due to her very personal romance based blog posts. I think this draws a more comments oriented mushy crowd- and that is nice. However, I think on other blogs, like yours and mine, there are plenty of people that appreciate them, but just want useful information and are not necessarily into the whole internet social networking/community thing. It doesn’t mean that they don’t appreciate the information and when something important, like gf pizza or beer(HA;) comes out they’ll write tons of comments!!

  15. says

    Freedom –Thanks for the great idea, I will make sure to check out delphi forums

    Robin –You are so sweet to share your story, thanks. I know what you are going through. I remember when my son was 2 (prior to his celiac diagnosis) and every party was pizza and cake. Now (almost 8 years later) it is easier. I cook quite a bit and bring him birthday treats whenever there is a party (less parties at this age -phew). Often the other children want some of what he has, so I make sure to send extra. We’ve all adjusted pretty well at this point.

    mama4ever –I can completely relate to your cooking disaster, been there myself many times with the glop that never finishes setting, no matter how long it bakes. I guess that’s part of the practice of experimenting…

    Ya’ara –I always love to hear from you; in addition to spring cleaning it is also tax season here so people are pretty busy. Glad you enjoyed the matza ball recipe –btw, what is marza flour? I am so curious…

  16. says

    Hi Elana,

    I guess everyone is busy with spring cleaning..

    I have many stories to share, but also caught up in the preperations for the holydays.. plus I have started a new job today..

    I tried your matza balls recipe and they turned out great!!

    I added more almond flower and “marza flower”
    to “firm them up..

    Of course I started by altering one ingridient and finished by creating a whole new recipe… :)

    Thank you for your wonderful ideas!!

  17. mama4ever says

    Sorry that I didn’t send a comment back to you when I received this email I got side tracked with the recipe :-). I love your website. My son and I are new at this gluten, wheat free thing. I have really appreciated the recipes and information that you have provided. I’ve had one cooking disaster since cooking GF/Wheat free. I tried making my first loaf of zucchini bread and I baked it for 3 hours, LOL, and it still was not done in the middle. I don’t know what happened but it was rock hard on the outside and liquid on the inside. I am going to try again though. Hope you have a wonderful Sunday and God Bless.

  18. Robin Rivers says

    I feel so bad that I didn’t comment after reading this post yesterday. Got distracted. But, I really did mean to.

    Our biggest dilemma is figuring out how to actually attend public events that are kid-centered as our daughter is gluten, dairy and soy intolerant and EVERY event we ever get invited to seems to be pizza or donuts.

    We have had many a disaster trying out different flour mixtures, with our biggest success the mix from

    Whenever we go to a party, we bring our homemade rice bread, which goes over amazingly well.

  19. Freedom says

    Since you want to start your own community, might I suggest delphi forums? I belong to a support group on there for people with FMS/CFS and its awesome! Its totally free to sign up and you never get spam. Here is a link to my support group so you can check it out and see how it works….

    If it goes to an ad, somewhere on the page it should say “skip this ad” click on it.

    You can even associate this website with it if you pay for a plus forum.

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