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recipe: Chestnut and Paprika Soup

Updated: May 28

We've cooked the original version of this soup (based on a Moro recipe) for more years than we'd care to remember and it's been an absolute winter favourite - flavourful and filling. We've recently modified it to make it vegan by replacing the chorizo of the original with smoked paprika, and we're pleased to say that it's just as delicious as ever!

Bowl of chestnut soup with hunks of sourdough bread on a green checked tablecloth

Serves 4


Olive oil, a very generous gloop (about 4 tbsp)

1 large onion, finely chopped

1 celery stick, finely sliced

1 carrot, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp smoked paprika

Fresh thyme leaves, about 1.5 tsp

1 or 2 small dried chillies (depending on how much heat you like), crushed

Splash of white wine (optional)

1 tin of chopped tomatoes

1 tbsp of choricero or nora pepper paste (optional)

500g cooked, peeled chestnuts (we use the vacuum packed ones), coarsely chopped

Good pinch (about 20) saffron threads, infused in a couple of tablespoons of boiling water

750 ml of water

Salt and black pepper to taste


  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan, then add the onions, celery and carrot, and a pinch of salt, and cook on a medium heat for about 20 minutes until brown, stirring as necessary to prevent everything from sticking.

  2. Add the garlic, cumin, thyme, chilli and paprika and cook for a further few minutes.

  3. Your pan should be nice and brown at this point, so deglaze it with a splash of white wine (or water).

  4. Add the tomatoes (and optionally the pepper paste) and stir through. Then add the chestnuts, and mix everything together.

  5. Pour in the saffron infused liquid and all of the water. Stir well, bring to a simmer and cook gently for 10 to 15 minutes stirring occasionally to make sure it doesn't stick. Add a little more water if necessary.

  6. Remove from the heat and then pulse the soup for a few times in a food processor. You're aiming for a coarse and lumpy texture rather than a smooth puree.

  7. Add salt and pepper to taste. Return the soup to the pan to heat through and serve with crusty bread.

  8. Tastes even better when made the day before! Also freezes extremely well.

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