Sunday, November 23, 2008

White Bean and Chorizo Soup

It is starting to get cold outside, so I thought this weekend would be a good time to make a hearty, comforting soup. I found this recipe for a White Bean and Chorizo soup, and I decided to try it. I made a few changes from the original recipe. I like my bean soup thick, and the original recipe calls for a lot of liquid. I also used Spanish chorizo which is similar to andouille or smoked sausage rather than the fresh chorizo that is used in the original recipe. It is less greasy, and the smoky flavor goes well with the beans.

White Bean and Chorizo Soup

serves 6-8
  • 1 1/4 pound dried cannellini or Great Northern beans (generous 2 1/2 cups)
  • 8 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 3 garlic cloves; 1 smashed, 2 chopped
  • 1 large fresh rosemary sprig
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup chopped onions (about 1/2 a large onion)
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 cup chopped celery (about 2 stalks)
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme, divided
  • 2 14.5 ounce cans of chicken broth
  • 1 pound Spanish chorizo link sausages (fully cooked), casings removed
  • 1/4 cup whole milk or whipping cream
  • salt and pepper
  • fresh parsley, chopped

Place beans in heavy large saucepan. Add enough water to pan to cover beans by 4 inches. Let beans soak overnight at room temperature.

Drain and rinse beans; return to same saucepan. Add 8 cups water, 1 tablespoon oil, smashed garlic clove, rosemary, and bay leaf. Bring to boil. Season to taste with salt. Reduce heat to medium-low, partially cover, and simmer until beans are just tender, about one hour. (Can be prepared 2 days ahead. Cool slightly, cover, and chill.)

Drain beans, reserving cooking liquid. Discard rosemary sprig and bay leaf. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, and celery. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sauté until vegetables are beginning to soften, about 10 minutes. Add chopped garlic and 1 teaspoon thyme; sauté 2 minutes. Add 1 1/2 cups reserved bean cooking liquid, the chicken broth, and beans. Bring to boil; reduce heat to medium and simmer uncovered until vegetables are tender, about 15-20 minutes. Cool soup 10 minutes. Meanwhile, sauté chorizo in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat until browned and crisp, about 10-15 minutes. Transfer chorizo to paper towels to drain.

Using slotted spoon, remove 2 cups of the bean mixture from soup; reserve. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup, or working in batches, purée remaining soup in blender until smooth. Return puree to pot. Stir in reserved whole-bean mixture, remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons thyme, chorizo, and the milk or cream. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Chill uncovered until cold. Cover and keep chilled.) Rewarm soup over medium heat, thinning with more broth if desired. Season with salt and pepper. Divide soup among bowls, sprinkle with fresh parsley, and serve. This soup goes great with some crusty bread for dipping.

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