Picture this: It’s a cloudy winter Sunday. You’ve spent a lazy morning wandering through book stores in the city (and perhaps stopping off to buy a new dress??) and having a late breakfast at a really elegant little cafe near Town Hall.
Then, you hop on the ferry with some mates and cruise through the Harbour over to Watson’s Bay- a little strip of beach with a huge view of the city skyline, a pub with lots of outdoor seating and a famous seafood restaurant. So you have lunch- a plate of shared oysters to start, then the famous fish and chips and a cold beer to wash it all down. You linger over a drink, enjoying the view and the breeze off the water. You don’t even need a coat- just a cardigan and a scarf and you’re nice and cozy.
View of the city from Watson’s Bay
You grab the bus back to your neighbourhood and pop into the grocery store on your way home. You know you don’t want a big dinner (you’ve been eating all day!) but it’s only 5pm and you might want something to top you up before the night is through. What do you do??? You make this soup.
Soup is one of my all-time favourite foods. When I was at Syracuse University there was a little cafe in the building where most of my public policy classes were held (that was my major, I was there a lot) and the cafe had a different soup every day. I tell you what, there were times that finding out the soup was the highlight of my day. The beef and barley soup days weren’t very popular with me, but a bowl of potato leek, chicken noodle or 5 bean soup could certainly make me forget looming paper deadlines or exam anxieties. In short, soup makes me happy.
So, after enjoying the activities described above on Sunday (you knew it was us doing all those things, right??) I decided to make this soup for dinner. Since we weren’t starving, there was plenty left over for lunch the next day. Which is great, because this soup is goooood.
I’m going to do something a little different and give you pictures of the preparation process as well as ingredients and steps as we go along, rather than a big recipe at the end. Just shaking things up here at Abercrombie & Feast. Enjoy!
White bean, tomato and chorizo soup
(adapted from Bill Granger, Every Day)
You start by cutting up 2 links of chorizo (spicy Spanish sausage- in America you could substitute kielbasa if you can’t find chorizo). Saute the chorizo pieces in a large pot over medium heat until they begin to crisp up on the outside a little. You don’t need to cook them for long- they are already cooked.
While the chorizo is warming up, chop up one purple onion, 2 cloves of garlic and 1 chili pepper. Remove the chorizo from the pot and drain it on a plate lined with paper towels. Add the onion, garlic and chili along with a little olive oil to the pan and cook for 5-7 mins or until the onion becomes translucent.
Once the onions are translucent, add the chorizo back to the pot and tip in a can of plain, diced tomatoes and the leaves from 4-5 stalks of fresh thyme.
Let all this cook together for a few minutes. It will smell so good that you’ll want to scoop it up and sample a bit on a piece of the bread that you bought to go with dinner. That’s ok. Sample away!
Here I am about to sample the mix. Looks like I’m offering it to my kitchen Buddha, huh?
Next you add 1 litre (about 4 cups) of chicken stock and 2 cans of cannellini beans or white beans. Stir all this together and allow it to simmer for about 20 mins.
After the soup has simmered for about 20 mins, you can either eat it immediately (delicious!) or you can remove about 1/3 of the soup to a blender or a food processor and puree it for a few seconds (even MORE delicious- just make sure you let it cool off a bit so it doesn’t explode!!) I pureed mine a bit and here’s the final shot:
Andy thought I was crazy to post pictures of soup. I must agree, it’s not going to win Miss Photogenic at the Food Beauty Pageant this year. But it will win Miss Congeniality, and that’s what’s most important to me!