Well, my guess is, by now, you have gathered that soups are kind of my thing. We just click well, for so many reasons.
I love to make them as I go, adding this, that or whatever is left sitting in my fridge or pantry-it’s like piecing together a flavor puzzle; the pieces being whats available in your kitchen. It teaches me so many dynamics about true cooking. What pairs well together, which flavors and textures don’t mesh. Soups and stews tend to be my best learned lessons-and provide me my most creative time in the kitchen, which I love.
The soup making process is so forgiving, too. Throw in a few wrong ingredients and you can totally redeem yourself by adding something else that will turn the wrong ingredients into meant-to-be-there ones. If it’s too acidic, a cream of some sort will do the trick. Too salty, add water, lemon or something sweet. If it’s missing a punch or hint of depth, somehow a vinegar tends to lend a hand. There’s always something to bail you out of a soup mess.
On top of all of the above, I just plain love soups ability to make me feel like a warm blanket has been wrapped just perfectly around my freezing cold body. So satisfying.
So here’s the latest successful soup that has come off of my stove. I had chorizo links in the freezer so I thought there couldn’t be a better way to utilize them. There was a lot of tweaking as I went, but by the time our spoons dipped into the bowls and made it to our mouths the soup was just right. And by just right I mean the smokey, savory, rich kind of just right. Yummy. And all you need is 30 minutes, you gotta love that.
note: if you can’t find ground chorizo in your market just grab the chorizo links-slit the link down the side with a sharp knife and remove the clear casing- you’ll be left with perfectly ground chorizo.
Southwest Chorizo and Bean Soup
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Pound Ground Chorizo
1 Medium White Onion, diced
1 Red Bell Pepper, diced
1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
1/4 Teaspoon Black Pepper
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cumin
2 (15 Ounce) Cans Pinto Beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15 Ounce) Can Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes
1 (4 Ounce) Can Fire Roasted Diced Green Chillies
4 1/2 Cups Chicken Stock
3/4 Cup Sour Cream
1 Cup Shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
1 Tablespoon Cider Vinegar
Cilantro, for garnish
Heat the olive oil over medium high heat in a large soup pot or dutch oven. Add the chorizo and cook for 2 minutes, stirring often. Add the onion and red pepper and cook, stirring often, until onions begin to soften and chorizo is browned, about 3-4 minutes. Add the salt, pepper, cumin, beans, tomatoes, chillies and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the sour cream, cheese and vinegar and stir until incorporated. Ladle in to bowls and serve topped with cilantro. Serves 4-6.