Thursday 7 December 2006

chorizo & chickpea soup

I love soup. I adore it.

In summer I whip up Caldo Tlalpeño, a soup, originating from a borough in Mexico’s capital city, that's fresh with smoky chipotle chillies, tangy lime and smooth avocado pieces. In winter I opt for something more decadent like the ridiculously rich Seupa Vapellenentse, a fontina cheese and cabbage stew from Valle d’Aosta in northern Italy.

Over the years I’ve perfected my own recipes for rustic roasted tomato soup with pasta, creamy garlic purée, cauliflower and white truffle foam and I even learnt an old Eastern European chicken noodle broth from my grandfather.

Soup is wonderful. It’s glorious!

So when Tami from Running with Tweezers announced the Super Souper Challenge, I was delighted to join. Only problem is, which soup do I write about? It’s like choosing between your children!!!

Then I discovered a Spanish soup (chorizo & chickpea) that could possibly be one of the best soups in the world.

That’s a big call, I hear you say. And that’s exactly the response I got from two of my work colleagues when I told them about it. But I’m serious. This could possibly be one of the best soups in the world!

It’s rich with tomatoes, it’s spicy with chilli, it’s fragrant with herbs, it’s hearty with sausage and it’s healthy with legumes. I could easily see this as a summer or winter soup.

It makes me happy.

Tami’s Super Souper Challenge is actually a competition and, since I’m not a great photographer (and don’t have all the snazzy props that some of those serious food stylist bloggers have), I don’t expect to win on looks.

I just hope the soup conveys some of the absolute deliciousness that it possesses – enough to convince one or two of you to make it yourselves.

Chorizo & Chickpea Soup
Based on the recipe in the Gourmet Traveller June 2003, ‘Spanish Inspired’ lift out. Serves 4 as a light meal.

2 chorizo sausages, cut on the diagonal
50g serrano ham, finely chopped
1 medium red onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
6 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons thyme leaves
1 teaspoon marjoram
½ teaspoon chilli flakes
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
800g canned chopped tomatoes
800g canned chickpeas, rinsed
1.5 litres chicken stock

1. Heat olive oil in a large pot. Add chorizo and cook over medium heat for 2-3 minutes on each side until browned. Remove and drain on absorbent paper.
2. Add some more olive oil to the pan and add ham, onion, carrot, celery and stir over a low-medium heat for 6-8 minutes or until vegetables are tender but not brown.
3. Stir in garlic, thyme, marjoram, chilli and paprika and cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant.
4. Add tomato paste and cook for 30 seconds or until blended and slightly thickened.
5. Add chickpeas, tomatoes, stock and chorizo.
6. Combine well and bring to the boil over high heat then reduce to low and cook, covered, for 45 minutes.
7. Season to taste. Serve in warmed bowls with parsley and bread passed separately.

I hope you choose to make it and I hope it brings you as much joy as it has brought me.

Can’t wait to check out Tami’s recap and discover a whole new world of soup!



  1. Maybe I could make this vegetarian and add the meat later?

  2. This soup looks so hearty and delicious, I'll definetely give this one a try and let you know how I did, looks like something that would drive any winter chills away!

  3. wheresmymind - not sure you could. the fat from the chorizo and ham is used to cook the vegetables at the beginning and really adds to the whole flavour of the soup. trust me, i've thought about this so jonas and i can eat it together but i don't think it would be half as good. if you never cooked it to the recipe though, you might never know so it could be ok.

    monisha - please let me know if you try it. i'd love to hear what you think.

  4. came across Caldo Tlalpeño whilst strolling the streets of DF did we?

  5. says to add tomato paste but it isn't on the list of ingredients???

  6. oopps, have now added it in! thanks carmen.

  7. This is one that really will be on my "make over and over" list. One questions...are the chorizo sausages fresh or smoked?

    Thanks for sharing.

  8. Soy chorizo is available at Trader Joe's. that would allow you to make a vegetarian version.


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