Saturday, 22 October 2011

Spanish minestrone

I am DYING..... with a cold. Its very unpleasant, not to mention unattractive, sniffling into nasty tissues and wheezing like an old man. The weather in Ireland today was rainy but even for rainy weather it was particularly horrible. I had to turn the light on in the kitchen because it was so dark and coupled with my cold, the low grey skies made me gloomy. I needed something comforting, something to chilli-away my bad mood. There wasn't much chance I was going outside and chancing the rain so I made this soup from what was in the house. It is like a minestrone, in fact you could just take out the chorizo, add bacon and pasta instead and you would have a lovely minestrone.

700g chorizo very thinly sliced
1/2 tsp chilli powder (optional)
3 carrots, peeled and diced
2 red onions peeled and thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed and finely chopped
2 sticks of celery
450g tin of chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 bay leaf
few sprigs of thyme
550ml veg/chicken stock
450 tin cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

Fry the chorizo in a tsp of oil. The chorizo will create its own oil so there is no need to add much.  Add the onions, carrots and celery and fry for about 4 minutes until soft but not browned.

Add the garlic and chilli powder if using. I used extra spicy chorizo so I didn't add chilli powder but if you are using ordinary chorizo and you like a kick add the chilli powder. Even ordinary chorizo will infuse the soup with it's spicy flavours anyway so if you want to play it safe, leave out the chilli powder.

Add the tin of tomatoes, stock, bay leaf, thyme and tomato puree and simmer for about 15 or until the carrots are soft. Add the cannellini beans for the last five minutes of cooking, you don't want them mushy.

Serve with crusty bread.

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