I found this soup recipe in a 1949 garden magazine. It’s a nice creamy soup with a hint of sweet flavor thanks to cloves and a touch of brandy. The original recipe calls for 2 cups of peeled chestnuts. Chestnuts are not readily available in my area so I replaced them with potatoes. However, if you can get your hands on some chestnuts and are so inclined, add 2 cups of peeled chestnuts along with the stock, parsley and seasoning. When I’m in a rush I buy frozen, pre-chopped vegetables. This is a real time saver that doesn’t diminish the flavor of the soup.

  • Serves: 8
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  • 1 small onion
  • 2 carrots, peeled (about 1 cup of sliced carrots)
  • 2 stalks celery (about 1 cup of sliced celery)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 6 sprigs of parsley
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1 tablespoon salt (optional)
  • 2 quarts chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 2 tablespoons brandy
  • pepper
  • Parmesan cheese for garnish


  1. Coarsely chop the vegetables.
  2. Heat the olive oil in the bottom of a stock pot.
  3. Sauté the vegetables in the olive oil until brown. About 10 minutes.
  4. Add the stock, potatoes, parsley, wholes cloves, pepper to taste, and salt. You can omit the salt if the chicken broth is salty enough.
  5. Simmer the soup for one hour or until the vegetables are tender.
  6. Break up the vegetables with an old-fashioned potato masher. Just mash them right in the pot with the broth.
  7. Add the cream and brandy.
  8. Heat through.
  9. Serve hot with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.