Chorizo and Bean Soup

When I made this soup yesterday, my starting point was that I had some chorizo in the fridge that i wanted to use.

I also had some borlotti beans I’d been soaking for a day. So I figured it was going to be a bean and chorizo soup. After that, details were hazy. I decided to wing it. The result resembles all the bean and chorizo soups already out there, but it’s mine, made using lots of my favourite ingredients and touches in Italian cooking.

Bean and Chorizo Soup

What follows isn’t so much a recipe as a guide. For example, I used dried beans, but you could just as easily use tinned. I often do but I’ve got a thing for soaking beans – a glass bowl of dried beans covered in water on the kitchen bench somehow makes me very happy.

beans

Those of course aren’t borlotti beans – they’re cannelini and kidney beans. It’s an old photo.

Anyway, here’s my rough guide for a Chorizo and Bean soup. We had this on Sunday night and it was so very tasty – I think the key is the cooking time – an hour at least really lets it all combine well.

2 leeks diced. Or onions. Either will do.
2-3 celery sticks diced
2 carrots diced
3-4 cloves garlic chopped finely
1-2 red capsicums diced
2- 3 cured chorizo diced
2tbs tomato paste
1 tin diced tomatoes
200g dried borlotti (or other) beans soaked overnight (or 2 tins)
1/4 cup ajvar relish
1litre chicken stock
Frozen spinach (or fresh)
1/2 bunch continental parsley chopped
1 cup small pasta shapes, like macaroni or orzo etc
Parmesan cheese, grated
Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Begin by frying the chorizo in a little olive oil. When it starts to colour up and release its juices, add leek/onion, garlic, carrot and celery. Cover and saute til soft. Add capsicum and cook a few minutes more.

Add tomato paste and stir, cooking it through. Add the Ajvar, stirring it through. Add tinned tomatoes, beans and 1litre or so of chicken stock. Cover, bring to boil, then simmer partially covered for an hour so, stirring periodically to avoid contents sticking.

When it’s close to ready, cook the pasta separately til al dente. Add defrosted spinach, as little or as much as you like. I used about four of little portions from a bag of the portioned variety. When the spinach is combined throughout, add chopped parsley and pasta. Stir to combine.

Serve in wide shallow bowls, allowing to cool a little before eating. It’s better when it’s not piping hot. Service with grated parmesan and a drizzle of good extra virgin olive oil.

Bean and Chorizo soup

I loved the addition of the Ajvar, which is a Serbian capsicum relish easily available in the supermarket. It’s sweet and richly flavoured. I learned about it when foodie friend David posted about it recently on his excellent food blog, Cooking Gene. It’s going to become a standard in my kitchen.

Also, the chorizo really worked here. I saw other recipes similar to this one that used just pancetta or bacon and I think the substantial chunk of chorizo worked better – when making a soup with loads of ingredients, I like everything to be in similarly sized pieces for ease of eating and for the aesthetics. Diced chorizo alongside the diced vegetables gave it the balance I was after, as well as tasting amazing.

Bells

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5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. 2paw
    Aug 09, 2010 @ 21:11:56

    Yum that sounds so warming and spicy and delicious. I sometimes think the things you wing can be the best!!

    Reply

  2. drk
    Aug 10, 2010 @ 09:12:27

    yum yum yum. you cant go wrong with chorizo really, and your modifications are excellent! please ma’am can i have some more!

    Reply

  3. Delly
    Aug 10, 2010 @ 10:14:38

    Firstly I have to say that ANYTHING with chorizo in it has my vote!!! This soup looks healthy and so comforting. It’s going onmy list. Love the use of Avjar. It’s my new fav ingredient too!

    Also adding the pasta after it is cooked is ingenious. So simple and yet it had never occured to me. thanks for the tip.

    Another helpful hint from Bells!

    Reply

  4. Rose Red
    Aug 10, 2010 @ 13:09:41

    mmmm chorizo…as has been said, you can’t go wrong with chorizo!

    Reply

  5. David Hilyard
    Aug 11, 2010 @ 16:45:46

    Looks and sounds delicious. Beans, chorizo – some of my favourite things. Especially wrapped in brown paper and tied up with string.

    And it’s great to see ayvar getting a run!

    Reply

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