Classic Chestnut Soup with Marsala Mushrooms Recipe | Vegetarian Times Skip to main content

Classic Chestnut Soup with Marsala Mushrooms

This rich, delicately flavored soup makes a festive appetizer for a holiday meal.


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3 Tbs. butter or vegan margarine
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1 medium onion, diced (1 cup)
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1 celery stalk, diced (½ cup)
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1 bay leaf
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1 Tbs. chopped fresh thyme or 1 tsp. dried thyme
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¼ tsp. ground allspice
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1 15-oz. jar cooked, peeled whole chestnuts, chopped (2½ cups)
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4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
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2 Tbs. Marsala wine
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⅓ cup heavy cream
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2 Tbs. finely chopped fresh thyme leaves for garnish, optional

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1 Tbs. butter or vegan margarine
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1 clove garlic, minced (1 tsp.)
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8 oz. button or cremini mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
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2-3 Tbs. Marsala wine


To make Soup:

1. Melt butter in large pot over medium heat. Add onion, celery, bay leaf, thyme, and allspice, and cook 5 to 7 minutes, or until onion is translucent. Add chestnuts, broth, and 2 cups water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer 20 to 25 minutes, or until chestnuts are very soft. Remove bay leaf.

2. Purée Soup in batches in blender until smooth. Return to pot, and stir in Marsala wine and cream.

To make Mushrooms:

3. Heat butter and garlic in skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms, and cook 4 to 5 minutes or until mushrooms are soft. Add Marsala wine, and cook 1 minute more, or until most of liquid has evaporated.

4. Season Soup with salt and pepper, and ladle into bowls. Garnish servings with Mushrooms and fresh thyme leaves, if desired.

Nutrition Information: 

3 g
Total Fat: 
10.5 g
Saturated Fat: 
6 g
30 g
29 mg
415 mg
4 g
8 g
Serves 8

Comments on this Recipe

Trader Joe's has them, could give them a call and make sure they have them. They were in the refrigerated section in boxed packages.

Yummy!!!! The only issues I have with this...I had no clue what jar cooked chestnuts were...I also had a hard time finding them here in GA!! But i finally found them...and I have to say this is a very DELICIOUS soup and a hit with guests!!!

where did you find them in GA?

Any suggestions for making this vegan (ie substitutes for the heavy cream?)

Mary, barring nut allergies, cashew cream is a great substitute for heavy cream in many recipes and it's easy to make. Soak raw cashews in cold water (1:1 ratio, let's say 1 cup each) for a few hours. Strain the cashews and toss them in a blender with a fresh cup of water. Blend until smooth. Strain the cashew cream to remove any chunks and it's ready to use. Use the same amount the recipe calls for. I've also done this by just tossing the cashews and water into a powerful blender (no soaking or rinsing) and had it turn out fine.

I've made this twice, once with jarred chestnuts and once with chestnuts I roasted and peeled myself. It was fabulous both times. Using the jarred chestnuts, it was so quick, and I can't even say how delicious it was. It's my new favorite soup!