I first tasted this soup when I was in Barcelona. It may not look like the prettiest dish – it actually looks quite frumpy – but the flavours 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 colouring the onions. Now take the lid off – the smell and colour will be fantastic. Stir it around and get some colour 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.