Wednesday, April 17, 2013

White Bean & Spanish Chorizo Soup

Beans Chorizo Carrots Soup Bacon potatoes

I have a new favorite bean ... Great Northern White Beans! I am completely enamored of these dusty white little gems.  When cooked they are soft and creamy, and have a rich buttery flavor. So, after a 4 day weekend hiatus to the Hollywood beach boardwalk and a bit too much food and libations, our tummies needed something homey and comforting.  I was craving this simple, yet satisfying soup. The addition of the Spanish chorizo adds an extra depth and layer of flavor to this soup.

Serves 4

1 pound great northern white beans
5-6 slices turkey bacon, cut into 1" strips
40 oz (5 cups) vegetable stock
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced into half moons
1 large russet potato, peeled and cubed
2 links fresh Spanish chorizo, sliced into coins
3-4 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves stripped, stems discarded
1 1/2  teaspoon salt
Pepper to taste

Soak beans in water overnight. Soaking ratio is 2 parts water to 1 part beans.  Discard soaking liquid. Add beans to a deep pan with two cups of vegetable stock and sliced bacon. Bring to to boil over medium high heat and continue to boil, stirring occasionally for a half hour. By then the liquid should be consumed to the level of the beans. Add two more cups of stock, bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium low and simmer another half hour. At the end of the hour the beans should be very tender and the liquid thick and creamy. Stir in one teaspoon salt to beans. Tip: Never add salt to beans during the cooking processes as it will toughen the beans and they will not soften. Read more on my bean cooking tips.
While the beans cook, in a skillet over medium heat, add oil, onions and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Saute for 3 minutes, then add carrots, potatoes, thyme and stir, and continue sauteing an additional 3-5 minutes. Push vegetables to the side and add the chorizo medallions to the pan. Allow chorizo to brown on each side then add the remaining cup of stock. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes or until potatoes and carrots are cooked through. Once beans are done, stir vegetable and chorizo mixture into beans.

Serve with crusty bread, a light salad and crisp white wine. ENJOY!