© David Loftus
scrumptious spanish chickpea and chorizo soup
I first tasted this soup when I was in Barcelona earlier this year. It may not look like the prettiest dish – it actually looks quite frumpy – but the flavors are amazing. The smoky spicy chorizo and Spanish ham are lovely with the creamy texture of the chickpeas and spinach. Definitely give this a go. You will always get good results with this soup, but you’ll come up with something really special if you can get hold of the best quality chickpeas, chorizo and ham. There’s a little bit of chopping to do in this recipe, but you can use a food processor if you don’t have much time.
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. Turn the heat down and cook slowly for 15 minutes with a lid on and without coloring the onions. Now take the lid off – the smell and color will be fantastic. 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. 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. The egg was a bit unexpected when I was given this in Barcelona, but it actually adds a lovely richness to it.
• olive oil
• 5¹⁄₂oz chorizo sausage,finely chopped
• 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
• 1 clove of garlic, peeled and finelychopped
• 2 sticks of celery, finely chopped
• 1lb fresh spinach, washedand chopped
• 8 fresh tomatoes, deseeded and roughly chopped
• 1 14oz can or jar of good-quality cooked chickpeas, drained
• 5 cups chicken stock
• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 2oz pata negra, Spanish ham or prosciutto, finely chopped
• extra virgin olive oil
• 2 hard-boiled eggs