Chorizo sausage is used in Spanish cuisine as a condiment in many winter recipes, such as lentil soup, callos and fabada asturiana. This recipe, however, is inspired by Chef John, an American youtuber and blogger who runs the YouTube channel Food Wishes. Apart from being a very talented cook and recipe developer, he’s also charismatic and pleasant to listen to. Me and my boyfriend are two loyal followers of his. A few years ago we watched this video recipe and my boyfriend thought it would be a good idea to try it out using chorizo, some other vegetables, and potatoes instead of beans.
Because it’s rather difficult to find decent chorizo in Finland, we mostly eat this soup during the winter holidays when we visit my grandma’s hometown [Ejulve]. I have a blog post in my personal blog where I wrote about what’s it like to stay in there during the winter and, more specifically, in the house my grandma lived in as a child.
- 300g chorizo (see note #1)
- 1 diced carrot
- 1 diced celery stick
- 1 diced onion
- 2 sliced garlic cloves
- 2 diced ripen tomatoes
- 1kg potatoes, preferably the floury type
- 1l chicken broth or just water, in case you’re feeling particularly boring
- Saffron (see note #2)
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- Pinch of cayenne
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Salt to taste
- Remove the casing from the chorizo and chop it up into relatively 0.5cm thick slices.
- Dice the onion, the carrot, the celery stick.
- Add the diced vegetables and the chorizo to a pot and set the stove to medium-high heat. The idea here is to get the chorizo to release fat in which the vegetables will be sauteéd. Once the chorizo has released fat, I lower the temperature to mediu-low, cover the pot with a lid, and let the vegetables and the chorizo do their own thing for 20 minutes. You can use this time to peel and cut the potatoes into mouth-friendly sized pieces.
- When the time’s up, add the sliced garlic, freshly ground black pepper and a pinch of cayenne. Stir for 1 minute.
- Add the tomatoes. Stir and wait for two minutes.
- Add the potatoes, the saffron and the thyme (or 1 paella seasoning sachet.
- Add the chicken broth. Stir, bring the soup to a boil and let it simmer for 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are cooked.
- If by the end of the cooking time the potatoes are still holding their shape, mash the soup a little bit using a ladle or a potato masher. Don’t worry about mashing the other ingredients. This soup is exceptionally tasty when it has a thick texture.
For some reason I don’t understand, most food companies that comercialize chorizo like to add a lot of innecessary ingredients to it. Examples of these ingredients include: different types of sugars (sucrose, glucose, fructose, lactose), milk products, soy derivatives, etc. Chorizo should be manufactured using only meat, salt, and spices. It seriously doesn’t need anything else.
Unfortunately, the brand I use when I visit Catalonia is only sold at health food stores. It has the following ingredients: iberian pork meat, paprika, salt, garlic. If you’re interested, google “Luis Gil chorizo”. I always stock up on it when I come back to Finland. But when I run out of it, I make my own, which is not the same, but it does the trick. I don’t use any special equipment, because I only use chorizo to make soup with it and I always remove the casing. So really all I do is mix meat and spices together.
Here’s the recipe:
- 1kg beef/pork meat. I use 1kg of beef because my boyfriend and I buy grass-fed beef on bulk directly from the farmer. All the meat cuts are individually packed into 1kg packages, including the ground beef. You can use as much or as little meat as you consider appropiate.
- Spices: salt, black pepper, smoked paprika, dried oregano, crushed garlic.
- Instructions: mix everything thoroughly, preferably with your hands. Easy, huh?
I actually like to use paella seasoning, which I’d never in my right mind use to make paella. But it contains saffron and all the other spices listed in this recipe, so it comes in handy. It also has sweet paprika, turmeric and ground bay leaf, which simply add even more flavor to the soup.