Chorizo Vegetable Soup

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Here in Australia it’s fall.  In spite of the consistent +28C weather, I took this opportunity to make soup!  So, as you know, I’ve only been cooking for the past few years, and only really baking for the last year.  Generally, I’ve had a knack for knowing which flavours go together, but have needed guidance for basics, such as, in which order ingredients go in…

You really feel like you’re getting the hang of this cooking thing when you realize that you no longer need guidance for certain things.

Enter: Chorizo Vegetable Soup. I knew I had some veggies that were about to go off, chorizo that was reaching its ‘Best Before’ date in the freezer, and wanted to make a healthy dish that would last for a few lunches, yet satisfy the man.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 yellow onions, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp chili flakes
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 chorizo sausages, sliced
  • 1 6oz can Tomato Paste
  • 10 cups chicken stock
  • 1 garlic clove whole, skin on, cut in half
  • 2 large celery stalks, chopped
  • 3 large carrots, 2.5 sliced, .5 shredded
  • chopped cilantro

Instructions:

Heat olive oil in large soup pot over medium heat.  Sautee onions and chopped garlic until clear and fragrant. Stir in shredded carrot, chili flakes, bay leaf, cumin, cayenne pepper, and basil.  Simmer for 2 minutes.  Slice chorizo and throw it in the pot.  Cook until both sides have slightly browned. (At this point there might be some fat at the bottom of the pot; leave it in for now, we’ll get rid of it later.)Stir in tomato paste, and simmer until soft and heated through.

Slowly stir in all the chicken stock.  It doesn’t matter what kind it is, but I read this handy tip years ago that you might love as well: whenever I make a roast (chicken, beef, whatever), I use the bones to make stock (super easy- spices you like, bay leaf, carrot, celery, salt & pepper, and cook the crap out of it.  For hours and hours), and then I freeze the stock in an ice cube tray for individual uses!!  Maybe I’m a touch too excited about this.

Heat until boiling point and add whole garlic, celery and garlic.  Cover and reduce heat to a simmer for 1.5.  Allow soup to sit for a few minutes, and then take the fat off the top (there might be quite a bit, and you certainly won’t need it for flavour).

At this point it’s a bit like a ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’.  I boiled some jasmine rice and threw it in for a very hearty meal, then plopped a tablespoon of sour cream into each bowl, with a sprig of cilantro. Yum.  I also think throwing in a few cherry tomatoes (cook for 5 minutes at the end) would be delightful.  As well, next time I might try adding mushrooms!

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Wine Pairing: Because this soup is spicy and hearty, I’d suggest a full bodied wine.  A fruity/peppery Cabernet Sauvignon would be perfect.

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