Returning home after my week away helping Mum pack up the old family home, I couldn’t be bothered to go to the supermarket, so thought I’d search the pantry/freezer/garden for inspiration and threw this combination together. Chorizo and white bean is a favourite combination of mine – and not just because they are easy ingredients to keep on hand, but the spicy sausage is balanced by the creamy white beans. And because I’m always keen to up the vegetable count I scoured the garden for a collection of winter greens – though the Swiss chard (also known as Silverbeet) comes in red and yellow, so it was more Winter Rainbows….
The Chorizo I had wasn’t the usual dried (think salami) type, but the ones that need to be cooked – more the sausage type. But either will work here, the dried one being mores strongly flavoured, so you need less.
I had some chicken stock in the freezer, but feel free to buy some in, if you want. This is a pretty quick cook, so great for a hearty mid-week meal, as well as a weekend warmer, and, of course, tastes better the next day, so left overs are fantastic for lunch….
1 L chicken stock
2 dried or 4 Fresh Chorizo
1 Can Cannellini or Butter Beans, rinsed
1 Can chopped tomatoes – or 3 fresh
1 leek finely sliced
12 or more stalks of Spinach/Swiss Chard/Cavolo Nero(Kale) or a mixture
Sliced red or yellow peppers
Salt and Pepper
Chopped Parsley for garnish
If using fresh chorizo, fry in a splash of oil until cooked through. Leave aside to cool slightly – then you can slice them to add to the soup.
If using the dried chorizo cut into small pieces and fry gently in oil until they start to ooze some of their red colour. Add the butter and then gently sauté the leeks until soft and translucent.
Because the Cavolo Nero takes longer to cook than the other greens, I always start with them and add the others later. And of course, for all these greens the stems take longer to cook than the leaves. So, cut the stems off the leaves and slice into ½ cm slices. Add the Cavolo Nero to the leeks and Chorizo and cook for 3-5 mins. Then add the remaining sliced stems and cook for a further 2 minutes.
Add the stock and water and stir in the shredded Cavolo Nero leaves – they are tougher than their spinach and swiss chard cousins so need a longer boil.
This is when you add the pre-cooked and sliced fresh Chorizo – if this is the path you have gone down.
Add the tomatoes, beans and most of the sliced peppers and simmer gently for 5 mins. Check the seasonings and add more salt if needed, if too salty, just add some more water to get the balance right.
Add the shredded spinach and Swiss Chard leaves and the last of the peppers and gently cook for another 2-3 mins. You don’t want to boil the hell out of it, you want to retain some of the green colour.
And there you are. I served with a warm Ciabatta and sprinkled with the chopped Parsley, and chilli flakes for a bit more zing. Perfect for those cooler evenings.