I found myself with the task of cooking the evening meal while visiting my son recently. It only had to be something light as he has a main meal at work. It also had to be something easy and quick to eat to satisfy my teenage granddaughter, so I fell back on my usual remedy when in these situations – if in doubt make soup!
I decided to try something new and went trawling through some of my favourite sites. I waded through the usual offerings of potato and leek, cream of anything edible and various chowders and I was just starting to get that familiar feeling of gourmets glaze – the cooks version of writers block- when my eyes lit up, there staring up at me, next to the smiling face of Jamie Oliver, was a picture of a steaming bowl of something interesting.
I looked at the title – Scrumptious Spanish chickpea and chorizo soup – here was a soup with two of my favourite ingredients and, well, with a name like that how could I resist?
SCRUMPTIOUS CHICKPEA AND CHORIZO SOUP
2 tablespoons olive oil
150 g chorizo, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
2 sticks of celery, finely chopped
500 g fresh spinach, washed and chopped
8 fresh tomatoes, deseeded and roughly chopped
1 x 410g tin or jar of good-quality cooked chickpeas, drained
1 litre chicken stock
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
50 g pata negra, Spanish ham or prosciutto, finely chopped
extra virgin olive oil
1 hard boiled egg, grated
Place the olive oil into a large pot with the chorizo. Allow to heat up and cook for a couple of minutes until the fat comes out of the chorizo, then add your onion, garlic and celery.
Turn the heat down, cover and cook slowly for 15 minutes without colouring the onions.
Add the spinach, tomatoes, chickpeas and chicken stock and stir to mix. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for around 40 minutes.
Remove about a third of the mixture and purée it in a food processor.
Return to the pot, give it a good stir and season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and stir in the pata negra or ham and 2 or 3 tablespoons of good Spanish extra virgin olive oil.
Divide into bowls and sprinkle some hard-boiled egg on top. Serve immediately.