The perfect warming winter soup : chestnut and chorizo

I was slightly dubious about this soup. Surely it would be far too rich if chorizo was the main ingredient? But, I had everything I needed in the house, a baby fast asleep upstairs and it is bloody freezing today so I thought I’d give it a whirl for my lunch. You can’t go wrong with Moro right? Right!

(Yes, I know it’s a bit unusual to stock chestnuts but it is almost Christmas and they’re currently on offer at Ocado don’t ya know).

This was one dreamboat of a soup. Comforting with warm spice and deep chestnuts and rich – but not too rich. It was absolutely packed with flavour. I went back for a second bowl. I messaged my friends about the fabulous soup I’d just made and then I thought, this has got to go on the blog, right now. People need to know about this soup. What if they overlook it, like I almost did, because it sounds too rich.

So here it is, the recipe for a totally delicious warming winter soup, courtesy of Sam and Sam Clark. Enjoy!

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Ingredients

  • 4tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large Spanish onion, diced (I just used a white one)
  • 1 medium carrot, diced
  • 1 celery stick, thinly sliced
  • 120g mild cooking chorizo, cut into 1cm cubes (make sure you use soft cooking chorizo and not the hard cured variety)
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1tsp ground cumin
  • 1½tsp finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 small dried red chillies, crushed (I put about 3/4 teaspoon of crushed red chills in)
  • 2 tomatoes, fresh or tinned, roughly chopped (I used fresh, no need to skin)
  • 500g cooked, peeled chestnuts fresh or vacuum-packed), roughly chopped (I only had 2 packs, which is 400g but it seemed to work fine)
  • 20 saffron threads, infused in 3-4 tbsp boiling water
  • 1 litre water
  • Sea salt and black pepper

Method

1. It would be a good idea to get everything chopped and measured in advance, or at least the onion, carrot, celery and chorizo. I didn’t, obviously, but if I was a better person I would have!

2. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over a medium heat.

3. Add the onion, carrot, celery and  chorizo that you have diligently chopped in advance along with a pinch of salt and fry for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until everything caramelises and turns quite brown.

4. Now add the garlic, cumin, thyme and chilli and cook for one more minute, followed by the tomato and, after about two minutes, the chestnuts.

5. Give everything a good stir, then add the saffron-infused liquid, and the water, and simmer for about 10 minutes. (It still seemed quite thin at this point so I simmered for another 15 minutes).

6. Sam & Sam suggest that you then mash by hand with a potato masher until almost smooth but still with a little bit of texture, however that seemed like a lot of hard work to me so I just gave it a blitz with the hand blender, making sure I left plenty of lumps,

7. Season with salt and pepper, then serve.


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