Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Chorizo Black Bean Soup

Perfect dinner for a snowy night.
This has been a go-to recipe in my life for years (ever since I moved back to the US and lived somewhere with temperatures low enough to permit the consumption of hot soup). This is essentially a bean and vegetable soup or stew, with chorizo functioning as a seasoning. It is rich, spicy, complex and totally delicious. You would never guess from tasting that the vast majority of the soup is vegetables.
For this recipe, I prefer the dirtiest kind of chorizo: the mushy Mexican brand in a plastic tube, not the fresh kind from the butchers or the classy cured Spanish kind. This one tastes the best and blends smoothly into the broth, rather than forming chunks. I know it's made if nitrates and pig bungholes, but whatever. Buy one of the kinds with an offensive racial stereotype as the logo.


1 package of pork chorizo
3 cans of black beans, drained
2 red onions, diced
4 carrots, split lengthwise and chopped
4 red bell peppers, seeded and diced
6 Roma tomatoes, chopped
2 jalapenos, chopped (leave seeds in if you want spicy, omit seeds for more mild)
1 cup chicken stock (or water)
3 TB cumin powder
1 TB chile powder
1 TB paprika
1 cup orange juice
juice of 2 limes
2 tsp salt
1 bunch of cilantro, chopped

Optional garnishes: avocado slices, cheddar cheese, sour cream, hot salsa

What to do:
1. Add a small amount of oil the bottom of a large pot. Add the onion, carrots, and chorizo. Saute, stirring occasionally, for about ten minutes, until greasy and fragrant and the chorizo oil has coated everything.
That chorizo looks like a turd....

2. Then, add the spices: cumin, chile, and paprika. Let the spices fry a bit in the chorizo fat for a few minutes to release fragrances and enhance the flavor.

3. Then, add the peppers (both red and jalapeno) and tomatoes to the pot. Cover and let cook for about ten minutes, stirring every few minutes.
4. Add the stock (or water), black beans, and orange juice to the pot. Cover and simmer on low for about 20 minutes.
5. Then, use a slotted spoon and scoop about half the solids into a blender. Blend up, then add back to the pot.

6. Simmer for about ten more minutes.
7. Taste. Does it need salt?
8. Turn off the heat and stir in chopped cilantro and lime juice.

9. Serve with garnishes!

This is a delicious everyday recipe. Enjoy!

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