I’m feeling a bit housebound.  It’s been a snowy weekend, starting on Friday, then a fresh batch of the white stuff on Sunday, so I’ve been working from home.  And while I do love being able to pack up my laptop and papers and work from the comfort of my sofa, I miss my coworkers.  I miss adult conversation (I love my Wondermutt, but she’s not much of a talker).

But, the nice thing about working from home is that you can make a decent lunch.  I don’t mean putting together a sandwich, I mean, actually cutting up some vegetables and cooking a lunch.  In this particular case, it was soup.  A delicious, warming white bean soup.  And the thing about beans and lentils and legumes in general is that they make you feel full for quite a while.  As much as I love tomato soup (and I so do!), it doesn’t really stay with you, does it?  Not without a good grilled cheese sammich to go with it.

But, this one does – the beans make it good and hearty and filling.  Just what you want for a healthy lunch that won’t make you craving cookies later in the day.

As for the chorizo, I did a bit of a cheat – I bought really thinly sliced chorizo, as thinly sliced as parma ham.  If you can’t find that, just cut up the sausage into a small dice.  The fact is, that it has so much flavor, you don’t need a lot of it – you’re just trying to render out some of the paprika-spiced fat to use as a little extra flavoring and the sausage as a garnish.

chorizo

If you don’t want to use chorizo, then try a little bit of regular bacon.  If you want to keep this a vegetarian dish, then heat a tablespoon or so of olive oil with about a quarter of a teaspoon of sweet or hot paprika to infuse it, then drizzle over the soup when finished.  This recipe serves four.

White Bean Soup with Chorizo

  • Olive oil
  • 1 large onion (bigger than your fist), trimmed, peeled and diced
  • 2 medium carrots, trimmed peeled and diced
  • 2 stalks celery, trimmed and diced
  • 4 fat cloves of garlic, smashed and minced
  • 2 cans cannelini beans, drained and rinsed thoroughly
  • 4-5″ sprig of rosemary, chopped finely
  • 5 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 slices thinly sliced chorizo or, if you can’t find that, cut it into matchsticks

In a large pot over medium heat, pour a few good glugs of olive oil and add the onion, carrots and celery, cooking until the onions are translucent (about seven to ten minutes).  Add the garlic and rosemary and cook another two to three minutes.  Add the drained beans and stock, bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes.  While that’s cooking, heat a little olive oil in the pan and cook the chorizo over medium high heat – what you’re trying to do is render the yummy paprika flavor out into the oil and cook it until it’s crispy to make a nice garnish.

When the soup has finished simmering, you’re going to use your trusty hand blender to puree the soup.  The way I like to season is to half-puree, then taste and adjust as needed, then finish pureeing (because, let’s face it, nothing is going to stir in the salt and pepper better than a blender!).

Finish by topping with the cooked chorizo and drizzle with some of the oil from the pan you cooked the chorizo in.

white bean and chorizo soup

 

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