Chestnuts are in abundance up here in the Northeast of Victoria during Autumn. Not only are they delicious to eat in many different ways, but they are also free to forage in the woodland forests that surround us here in Beechworth. In Spain, farmers would find energy from eating freshly roasted chestnuts whilst they worked out in the countryside. In the Northeast area of Galicia in Spain, it’s quite funny to see people walking around the woods in a ‘bent down’ position looking for and collecting chestnuts!
The end of Summer in Barcelona brings out vendors with large, wood-fired drums serving as mobile ovens for roasted sweet potato and chestnuts – head to the Gothic quarter for amazingly fresh Autumn fare cooked to perfect right in front of you. A hot, cut-open sweet potato drizzled with garlic oil and salt and eaten with a wooden spoon in a square filled with open fires and other people enjoy a similar dish with a glass of wine — gosh! how I miss Spain.
There’s even a half-century old stall at the Mercat de La Boqueria called Bolets Petràs that has wall to wall mushrooms, specialising in all things fungi! Even if you’re not into mushrooms, it is definitely worth visiting just to see how many amazing varieties there are.
My chestnut and mushroom soup is an ode to Barcelona and visits to Spain. It is the simplest of pairings, which for me are often the best. Don’t worry about not being about to forage your own chestnuts, easily able to be found in certain supermarkets or online —> this is the perfect winter warmer.
Bon profit! I hope you enjoy it, Raquel x
Crema de Castañas con Setas (Mushroom and Chestnut Soup)
Yields 2-4 portions
Vegetarian, Gluten-Free, Vegan when vegan butter substitute is used