Saturday, 31 December 2011

Chestnut, chorizo and lentil soup

I meant to post this just after Christmas to suggest what you might do with your turkey stock and other leftovers but events overtook me (including rather disastrously spilling a glass of wine on my computer) and here we are on New Year's Eve. Still, this is a great soup, whether you have turkey stock or not, which I've adapted from Sam and Sam Clark's excellent Moro cookbook.

The point I was going to make about turkey stock - and which you might like to bear in mind for next year if you haven't thought about it already - is that it's really rich and strong and therefore doesn't lend itself well to delicate soups or sauces. This one includes chestnuts, though in lesser quantities than the Sams use, chorizo and saffron and I also added some outer Savoy cabbage leaves I'd saved after making a slaw to go with the ham on Christmas Eve which adds a bit of colour as well. When I heated up the leftovers of the soup I dropped some torn pieces of sourdough toast which were also a good addition. (Note: this is less of a soup than a stew. You won't need much else, if anything, to eat!)

Serves 4-6
3-4 tbsp olive oil
2 medium onions or one large one, roughly chopped
1 carrot, chopped into small pieces, roughly the same size as the onion
125g semi-soft chorizo, chopped (Tesco has a good one in its 'Finest' range)
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp chilli flakes or a crushed whole red chilli
1 tsp finely chopped thyme leaves or 1/2 tsp dried thyme or oregano
1/2 a 400g tin of chopped tomatoes or a couple of whole tinned tomatoes, chopped
200g vac packed or roasted or boiled chestnuts, roughly chopped
75g green or brown lentils
a pinch of saffron threads infused for 10 minutes in 3-4 tbsp hot water (optional*)
about 1 litre turkey stock or water
4-5 outer cabbage leaves or cavolo nero leaves
salt and black pepper

Heat the oil in a large pan, add the onion, carrot and chorizo, season lightly with salt and cook for about 10 minutes over a low to moderate heat until beginning to brown. Add the garlic, cumin and chilli flakes or crushed chilli and thyme and cook for a minute, then add the chopped tomatoes, chestnuts, lentils and saffron, if using. Add the stock or water, bring to the boil then turn the heat down and simmer for about 15-20 minutes until the lentils are cooked. Remove the central rib from the cabbage or cavolo nero leaves, shred finely and drop into the soup about 5 minutes before the end of the cooking time. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

* If you haven't got any saffron you could use half a teaspoon of turmeric which I'd add at the same time as the cumin. If you want to keep the soup veggie use 1-2 tsp sweet pimenton or paprika instead of the chorizo and maybe a touch of hot if you've got it.


Crumbs said...

Christmas 2011 was the christmas of the chestnut for me, in puddings, for stuffing, and now I can add a soup to the repertoire! This sounds delicious. Thanks

Fiona Beckett said...

Oddly good combination of ingredients. Just one of those happy leftover accidents!

laura@howtocookgoodfood said...

I do love a hearty chorizo soup and love the idea of adding chestnuts to it. I am very taken with chestnuts at the moment, and love this recipe, thanks!