Sopa De Castañas (Chestnut and Chorizo Soup)
Forests of sweet chestnut thrive in the mountainous regions of Spain. This recipe combines some of the classic flavours of Spanish cooking to produce a warm, comforting and mildly spicy soup that is synonymous with the onset of autumn.
|4 tbsp||olive oil|
|1||large Spanish onion, diced|
|1||medium carrot, diced|
|1||celery stick, thinly sliced|
|120g||mild cooking chorizo, cut into 1cm cubes|
|2||garlic cloves, thinly sliced|
|1 tsp||ground cumin|
|1½ tsp||finely chopped fresh thyme leaves|
|2||small dried red chillies, crushed|
|2||tomatoes, fresh or tinned, roughly chopped|
|500g||cooked peeled chestnuts (fresh or vacuum-packed), roughly chopped|
|20||saffron threads, infused in 3-4 tbsp boiling water|
|Sea salt and black pepper|
In a large saucepan heat the oil over a medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, chorizo and a pinch of salt and fry for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until everything caramelises and turns quite brown. This gives the soup a wonderfully rich colour and taste. Now add the garlic, cumin, thyme and chilli and cook for 1 more minute, followed by the tomato and, after about 2 minutes, the chestnuts. Give everything a good stir, then add the saffron-infused liquid, and the water, and simmer for about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and mash by hand (with a potato masher) until almost smooth but still with a little bit of texture. Season with salt and pepper.