There are dishes and recipes in every family that just seem to have always been there. Of course though, every dish must have its very first outing. These dishes, at a time that is impossible to pinpoint (maybe it’s when they’ve been consumed a hundred times?) take on a certain… status. This is one of those dishes in my family. I vaguely remember having it the first time about 5 years ago, so it’s a newborn baby in terms of family recipe history, but I just know it will be sticking around for years to come…
The dish belongs to my mother-in-law-to-be, Olive. She makes a vat of this thick soup regularly. I have guessed at the recipe. She uses proper, dried butter beans instead of tinned, and the *result is definitely better if you can pre-plan in this way (you have to soak dried beans for 24 hours and then boil for an hour before using). Doing it with dried beans makes a thicker soup as the beans break down more than tinned. I have used tinned here because I haven’t got the required foresight at the moment to soak beans the night before; I’m more of a impetuous cook than a forward planner with two babies to look after. It’s a great winter warmer that’s very easy to put together. It has a distinctly Spanish flavour, not just because of the chorizo, but the paprika, cumin, and even the beans which the Spanish use a lot. I think, in fact, that she probably made the dish first time in Spain, as they have a house there. I must ask her…
Serves: 4 adults
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 2 hours
Total time: 2 hours, 20 minutes
200g of cooking chorizo (you couldn’t really use the pre-sliced deli stuff, you need the chunky proper sausages), chopped into fat coins then halved
1 onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 large glass of white wine
1 tin of butter beans
1 tin of tomatoes, plus the same amount, 1 tin, of chicken stock (put your stock in the can and add boiling water to it in approximate proportions)
1 large potato, chopped into small squares (about 1 inch across)
1 teaspoon of sweet paprika
1 teaspoon of ground cumin
Olive oil, extra virgin, for drizzling
Fresh parsley, roughly chopped, to serve
- Heat about a tablespoon of olive oil over a medium heat. Dice your onion and soften for about 10 minutes.
- Add your chorizo and let it seal for 5 minutes. You don’t want it too crispy or frazzled which is how it’s usually enjoyed.
- Throw in your garlic and let it all cook together for 5 more minutes. Sprinkle in your cumin and paprika.
- Then turn up the heat and pour in a good glass of white (or red) wine.
- Add your beans, potatoes, tinned tomatoes and stock, and turn the heat down to a barely there simmer. Cook for at least 2 hours with the lid on. I left it for longer, which didn’t do it any harm.
- When ready to serve, taste and season accordingly. Throw on some roughly chopped parsley, a drizzle of good extra virgin and eat with very crusty bread.