At the same time, I did miss crisp cold Winter days. I feel I am served right now!
Five years ago, I would come back from long work hours and visit E. at his house (we had only been dating a few months then). One of the things he would cook a lot at the time was a delicious tomato soup with red kidney beans and chorizo. We would eat it with big slices of crusty bread while warming up near the 'fireplace' (ahem! You should actually read 'tiny radiator', the house was really cold). E. would pour a tin of tomato soup in a saucepan, add the beans and pieces of chorizo and it would be ready within five minutes.
I did appreciate a lot the fact that someone was cooking for me though, especially after the long work hours. Did I say that already? Well understand long hours and thinking about food a lot of the time is huge.
And just so you know, E. does not only make soup from tinned ingredients, he also cooks other delicious things like the best green Thai curry I have ever had and very importantly: amazing poached eggs!
For the past couple of years though, I have used his recipe and improved it a bit. So here you have my own version of the tomato soup with red kidney beans and chorizo.
Ingredients (serves 4 for a main course or 6 as a starter)
20g unsalted butter
2 shallots (roughly chopped)
2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
500ml chicken stock
230g red kidney beans (from a tin, drained and rinsed)
300g chorizo sausage (cut into small chunks, approximately the size of a thumb nail)
1/2 tbsp olive oil
For the parsley oil
100ml extra virgin olive oil
50g finely chopped flat leaf parsley
Put a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add in the butter. When it has melted, add the chopped shallots and stir frequently for 4 to 5 minutes until they have softened.
Pour in the chopped tomatoes, the chicken stock, the water and stir well. Bring it to the boil, then lower the heat and let it simmer for 30 minutes (covered for the first 15 minutes, uncovered for the remaining 15).
In the meantime, make the parsley oil. Heat up the olive oil in a small frying pan, add the parsley and stir for 3 to 4 minutes. You can blend the ingredients in a small food processor or serve as it is. Pour the parsley oil in a small serving bowl (I kept some aside and used it to roast a chicken the following day).
While the soup is still simmering, put a frying pan over a high heat and add half a tablespoon of olive oil. When it is hot, add the chorizo and fry it for 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer it with a slotted spoon onto some kitchen paper to absorb some of the fat (you can keep the remaining fat from the pan and use it to roast meat or saute potatoes during the week).
After the soup has been simmering for 30 minutes, you can either blend it for a smooth soup or leave it as it is for a soup with chunky bits of tomatoes. I took the saucepan off the heat and used a hand blender to smooth it a bit and put it back on a low heat.
Add the red kidney beans and the chorizo. Stir well, cover and simmer for another 10 minutes.
Season to your taste with pepper when it has finished cooking.
You can notice here I have not used salt at any stage. I find there is enough salt in the chorizo to season the soup.
Divide the soup between the bowls and drizzle the parsley oil on top.
A great accompaniment to the soup is a lovely side of fresh bread with butter. I made my own using Heidi Swanson's recipe of an Easy Little Bread on her website 101 Cookbooks (I ran out of wholemeal flour so I used buckwheat instead, it was as delicious).