by Emma Chow
There are pretty soups, and then are ugly soups.
Silky, perfectly pureed pumpkin soup never fails to look appetising, even in retro brown and orange stoneware bowls that my mother insists are ‘really horribly ugly’ but I think are cool.
However, I lack a blender at the moment having cleverly smashed the glass jug on the floor when I was packing up the kitchen for moving day. That was over a year ago now. So I make soups that require no blender; things that can cook away until they are reasonably smooth all on their own, or chunky soups that feel like a hearty meal that can be made all in one pot.
This soup is an ugly soup. It is irredeemably quite brown and yellow, and even my stoneware bowls can’t make it look cool.
But it is delicious, warming and feeds 6 people.
1 chorizo sausage, papery skin removed
2 chicken thighs
½ cup chickpeas soaked and cooked
1 tin whole roma tomatoes
2 cloves garlic
1 red capsicum
5 celery ribs
1.5 litres pork or chicken stock
Dice the chorizo, onion, capsicum, celery and potato.
Roughly chop garlic.
Place a large pot/dutch oven/casserole pot on medium heat and add a tablespoon of your preferred oil.
Add chorizo and whole chicken thighs and brown.
You don’t need to chop the chicken thighs, as they break down into shred-able meat during cooking. This is great for days when I mysteriously feel that touching raw chicken is more than my hands can bear, and dump chicken into the pot straight from the bag that it came in.
Move to one side of the pot and add onion, garlic, capsicum and celery. Sweat vegetables until onion is translucent . Add diced potato, tinned tomatoes and stock and allow to simmer for 40 minutes.
Add chickpeas and cook for a further half an hour.
Season with salt and pepper to taste. You could add a chilli with the onion and other vegetables if you want a soup with kick.
I served my soup with croutons made from leftover bread tossed in a pan with hot olive oil. It in no way improved the soup in looks, but was very delicious.
Soup can be frozen and will last for 3-4 days in the fridge, well covered.