Monday, November 21, 2005

Virtuous Chorizo and Chickpea Soup

There's something about cooking with ham hock that makes me feel virtuous. It seems resourceful, as if I am using all the parts of the animal that I killed--like the Indians. I buy them in packs of three and freeze two. When it finally got cold, it seemed appropriate to make some soup, and what better way to make a savory, delicious soup than with a ham hock?

I wanted something spicy, but I have an aversion to tomato-based soups. Perhaps because I always use canned tomatoes, they all come out tasting like Campbell's minestrone no matter what I do. Eventually, I was inspired by Nigella's cannellini bean and chorizo casserole. Here's my soupier take on it:

Chorizo and Chickpea Soup

In a heavy-bottomed Dutch oven, heat:
1 Tablespoon olive oil

Add, and saute until soft over medium heat:
1 large onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 bay leaves
2 cloves garlic, peeled and mashed with the side of a large knife

Turn the heat up to high and fry until they give off oil:
1 ham hock
12 ounces chorizo sausage (semi-dry is best), sliced and quartered

Then add:
4 cups chicken stock plus water to desired volume
2 cans chickpeas, you can use large or small cans, depending on the desired ratio of chickpeas to chorizo
Sweet paprika, salt, and pepper, to taste

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for at least half an hour. The longer it simmers, the more tender and flavorful the chickpeas become. When you are ready to serve, fish out the ham hock and the bay leaves and toss them. I'm sure Squanto would cut the meat off the ham hock and put it back in, but all that gristle and leathery pig skin grosses me out, so I just chuck it.

1 comment:

viagra online said...

I can see you was so virtuous making this recipe because it sounds an look delicious, so why it is called "chorizo" I have known this is something from South America, well it doesn't matter, what really matters is the recipe is delicious.m10m