Crema de Castañas con Setas (Mushroom & Chestnut Soup)

Gluten Free · Vegan Variation · Vegetarian

31 Mar · Written by Raquel Jones


Autumn in the north-east of Victoria blesses us with an abundance of chestnuts. These versatile nuts not only offer a delightful array of culinary possibilities but are also free for the taking amidst the wooded forests enveloping us here in Beechworth.

In Spain, chestnuts have been a source of sustenance for generations of farmers working the countryside. Up in the northeastern region of Galicia, it's quite amusing to spot folks meandering through the woods, adopting a characteristic 'bent-down' posture as they hunt for and gather these chestnut treasures.

As summer gives way to autumn in Barcelona, the streets come alive with vendors wielding large, wood-fired drums that double as mobile ovens for roasting sweet potatoes and chestnuts. Venture into the Gothic quarter, and you'll encounter the tantalising aroma of freshly prepared autumn delicacies cooked to perfection right before your eyes.

Picture this: a piping hot, split-open sweet potato, generously drizzled with garlic-infused oil and a pinch of salt, savored with a wooden spoon in a square filled with open fires and fellow enthusiasts, each enjoying their own dish alongside a glass of wine. Oh, how I miss those moments in Spain.

Speaking of culinary delights, there's a renowned half-century-old stall at the Mercat de La Boqueria called Bolets Petràs, a treasure trove of mushrooms specialising in all things fungi. Even if you're not a mushroom aficionado, a visit is well worth it just to witness the staggering variety on display.

Now, my chestnut and mushroom soup pays homage to my cherished memories of Barcelona and Spain. It embodies the beauty of simplicity, for sometimes, the most straightforward pairings are the most sublime.

Bon Profit! Raquel x

Crema de Castañas con Setas (Mushroom & Chestnut Soup)

Yields: 10-15 empanadillas depending on size


  • 400 g chestnuts Note: I forage and roast, peel and pre-cook my chestnuts – crazy I know – it’s a lot of work for one soup! You however, can find chestnuts in the frozen section of some supermarkets, otherwise you can buy these pre-cooked chestnuts from Cheznuts in North East Victoria – much easier than preparing them yourself!
  • 60 g butter (vegan substitute can be used)
  • olive oil
  • 1/2 medium-size leek, (white part only) thinly sliced
  • 1 medium turnip or swede, peeled and diced (about 200 g)
  • 1.5 L vegetable stock
  • 50 mL of cream (coconut cream as vegan substitute)
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • 200 g of assorted mushrooms (or choose any mushroom you prefer), sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 sprigs of thyme, leaves only
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup dry, cooking Sherry
  • 50g butter (vegan substitute can be used)
  • a generous pinch of salt
  • parsley/extra thyme leaves to garnish (optional)


Part 1. Soup

  1. Add half the butter and a tablespoon of olive oil to a medium saucepan and place over medium heat.
  2. Add the leek to the hot pan with a good pinch of salt and cook down until soft.
  3. Add the chestnuts and turnip (or swede) and stir through to coat.
  4. Add vegetable stock and bring to a high simmer for about 20 minutes.
  5. Turn off the heat and leave soup for the moment to finish mushrooms below.

Part 2. Mushroom Topping

  1. Place a frypan over high heat.
  2. Add olive oil and once it starts to smoke a little, add 2 tbsp of the butter (a little over half) and melt.
  3. Then add mushrooms and stir, cooking for 1 minute until sizzling.
  4. Lower heat to medium and add garlic, thyme and salt.
  5. Cook for 5-7 minutes, until mushrooms have softened a little and liquid has reduced.
  6. Add the sherry and cook down until the sherry has reduced to about half.
  7. Take off the heat and stir through the remaining butter.

To finish

  1. Carefully transfer the soup from the pot to a high-speed blender. Blend to purée. Note: Not all kitchen blenders are created equal! Once puréed you can choose to put through a fine sieve – removing potential lumps, giving you a silky smooth finish, OR if you’re happy with the consistency out from the blender, you can continue as is.
  2. Whisk (if soup still in blender, use low speed to mix) cream through soup (or coconut cream, if using instead)
  3. Taste soup and season to your liking (if you’ve used salted veg stock, you probably won’t need to salt)
  4. Divide the soup into individual bowls
  5. Place a large tablespoon of sautéed mushrooms in the centre of each bowl, drizzling a little of the buttery sherry juices over the top and scatter over some parsley/thyme leaves (if using).


Whether you have a preference for white or red wine, we have a perfect pairing to suit your taste.

If you lean towards white wine,our chardonnayis an excellent choice. It delivers just the right touch of oak to complement the earthy richness of the mushrooms.

For those who prefer a medium-bodied red, ourReserve Syrahis the ideal match. Its flavours harmonise beautifully with the soup. Alternatively, try ourtempranillo, which enhances the soup's sweetness, creating a delightful combination.

If you're up for a flavourful adventure,our rosé, crafted with shiraz, promises to be a delightful surprise.

No matter which wine you choose, be sure to serve this soup with a super fresh, crusty baguette or chunky croutons, to complete the experience.