Winter for me starts with soup-making motivation stirred by the first sight of the new season veggies. I make a huge batch which is then either eaten as lunch and dinner for the next few days, or frozen in an assortment of plastic containers. I find the trouble with freezing a large quantity of the same food is that it can become totally uninteresting. I soon forget the excitement of picking the vegetables, marrying their flavours with herbs and seasonings, the cutting, cooking and blending process. I regret to say that my soup is usually only defrosted and revived when I am in need of the container. Making a batch of soup is convenient and economical but this year I don’t have a freezer full of neglected soup. Make this generous batch for a group of friends on a cold night or for a weekend lunch; it’s hearty and satisfying, not to mention easy to make and economical when feeding a crowd.
Spicy chorizo, chickpea and tomato soup
2 chorizo sausages (I used mild), sliced
1 tsp olive oil
1 red onion, finely diced
2 celery stems, diced
2 carrots, diced
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
¼ tsp chilli flakes or chilli powder or ¼ tsp freeze-dried chilli powder
½ tsp smoked paprika (or standard paprika if not available)
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
2 x 360g tins chickpeas, drained
1 l chicken stock
1 tsp cumin
1 lemon, juiced
Italian parsley, roughly chopped
1. Fry the chorizo in a pan; you will not need any oil as there will be enough fat in the sausage. Once browned and a little crispy, remove the chorizo from the pan, onto a paper napkin to drain the fat.
2. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and sweat the red onion, carrot and celery for a couple of minutes.
3. Stir in the garlic, chilli and paprika. Then stir in the tomato paste.
4. Add the tinned tomatoes, the tinned chickpeas and the chicken stock.
5. Add the cooked chorizo to the soup and simmer, uncovered for 30 minutes.
6. After the 30 minutes, taste the soup and season with salt and black pepper (if the chorizo is particularly salty the soup may not need any extra added).
7. Ladle the hot soup into bowls, squeeze a few drops of lemon juice over and sprinkle with Italian parsley.
8. Serve with a loaf of crusty bread, warmed in the oven.
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