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Chestnut Potato Smokey Bacon Soup & a Photography Workshop


Last week I organised a food photography workshop with Sean Shadbolt for a gang of food bloggers (Plum Kitchen, Toast, D’lish, Couscous & Consiousness, Nourish and myself. We are all keen to learn new skills and I think we all took a lot of new knowledge away from the four hour workshop. I discovered tools on my camera I never knew where there, what I was most excited about was learning about how to shoot in less light or under tungsten lighting. Since we are heading for winter in New Zealand This has always meant my photography has been limited to weekends only since I work a full time job and it is dark on leaving home and returning. This photo I took with the last vestiges of light at 5.30pm, it’s not quite where I want it and I still need lots of practice with my new knowledge but prior to the workshop I would have been able to produce a photo at all with so little light. Thanks Sean.

  • 4 medium potatoes, peeled & diced
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 100g roasted peeled chestnuts
  • 100g smokey bacon
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • Salt & Pepper to season
  • olive oil


  1. In a large pan pour a few tablespoons of olive oil and saute the bacon. remove from the pan and allow to cool
  2. Add a little more oil and onions.
  3. Once onions are opaque add the chestnuts and half the stock. Cook the chestnuts till they are soft enough to mash.
  4. Blend the chestnut mix to a smooth puree then add the potatoes and rest of stock.
  5. Simmer over a low heat until the potatoes begin to soften.
  6. Slice the bacon and sprinkle on top of soup.
  7. Season with salt & pepper to taste and serve with crusty bread.
8 Comments Post a comment
  1. I’d love to join one of your workshops. There’s plenty of room for improvement with my photography; everything I’ve learnt has been through trial & error, mixed in with a healthy dose of camera-tinkering.

    May 15, 2011
    • peasepudding #

      We would love to see you up here for a workshop and hopefully you van come ip for the conference too end of year!

      May 16, 2011
  2. Oh, and your afternoon tea club photo (the treat-bedecked cake stand) is my favourite!

    May 15, 2011
  3. I love the sound of this soup , Alli – I really love almost anything with a smokey flavour. Great looking photo – you clearly learned a thing or two 🙂

    Sue xo

    May 15, 2011
  4. Nice pic! And that soup looks delish, I love the smell of roasting chestnuts:)

    May 16, 2011
  5. You know what? I started shooting food photography with a video camera which has snapshot button, then upgraded to camera pocket, and then SLR. I have been using the same camera since 2007, but been upgraded lenses twice. I love using 50mm f/1.4 which is a fast and inexpensive lens which is lovely to use in low light. I also use 100mm f/2.8L macro lens for close-up, this lens is really great and sharp to capture the details on food. The rest of it is lighting, composition and your styling. It is a lot more, and I have never ever been bored exploring food photography, in any style!

    May 17, 2011
  6. wow, this sounds like the type of workshop I’d get a lot out of, wish I could’ve been up there for it! I’m terrible with low light and the same as you – food photography has been limited to weekends lately since I don’t get home from work early enough to catch the last of the natural light now that winter’s fast approaching. Hope there will be more workshops in the future I might be able to attend 🙂

    May 19, 2011
  7. It was a great work shop…look forward to the next one! Chestnut & smokey bacon sounds like a wonderful soup for these shorter days 🙂

    May 20, 2011

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