Delicious Spanish Chickpea & Chorizo Soup
I wanted to make an authentic Spanish chickpea chorizo cocido (stew), but I knew it would never be as good as the Spanish grandmother's version, because:
A. I can't find REAL Spanish ham (pata negra or a hunk of Serrano) on the bone.
B. I didn't have any homemade chicken stock in the freezer.
C. I was too lazy to soak my chickpeas.
D. I am not in sunny Spain and it just isn't the same.
However, this Jamie Oliver version is very good in its own right!
I am going to call it a "dumbed down" version, because it doesn't take all day to make. Instead, you use canned chickpeas, a box of chicken stock, and Serrano ham in the package. Luckily, my market has authentic Spanish chorizo. You can make this soup/stew in less than an hour.
This is the perfect cold weather soup/stew. The heat from the chorizo opens your sinuses and this makes for a wonderful hearty winter meal.
In Spain, many places grate a hard boiled egg on top of the cocido. Don't skip this garnish, it's almost like putting a dollop of ricotta on bolognese sauce, or sour cream on top of chili, or ranch dressing with hot wings. You get my drift?
Spanish Chickpea & Chorizo Soup: (adapted from Jamie Oliver)
• olive oil
• 6 oz. chorizo sausage, finely chopped
• 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
• 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
• 2 sticks of celery, finely chopped
• 1 lb fresh spinach, washed and chopped (I used whole leaf frozen spinach)
• 8 fresh tomatoes, seeded and roughly chopped (I used a 24oz. can of plum tomatoes)
• 1 15oz can or jar of good-quality cooked chickpeas, drained
• 4 cups chicken stock
• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 2oz pata negra, Spanish Serrano ham or prosciutto, finely chopped
• extra virgin olive oil
• 2 hard-boiled eggs
Put a couple of tablespoons of olive oil into a large pot and add 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. Cook for about 10 minutes.
Stir it around and get some color happening now. Add your spinach, tomatoes, chickpeas and chicken stock. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for around 40 minutes.
At this point you can remove about a third of the mixture and purée it in a food processor (but I did not bother, I liked the chunky roughness of the stew). Pour it back into 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 grate some hard-boiled egg on top.
This served 4 people plus leftovers for the freezer.
This was GREAT. Hope you try it.