This is the first official cold weather soup post. I thought it may be important to mark the occasion, as I'm quite sure there will be many many more to follow. I just hope that some of you enjoy soup as much as I do. Even Daniel gets pretty tired of my automatic response to "what would you like for dinner" when its cold, although he continues to kindly oblige with soups and stews to keep us warm. I'm not sure if I could tolerate somewhere much colder than it is hear, although I suppose once you adapt its not so bad.
So, the story of the soup. After trying a chicken and rutabaga concoction Daniel had made a few weeks ago, I'd decided that the smoky and spicy taste of chipotle peppers in adobo would make a delicious addition to a soup or stew in the not so distant future. Since it has been rather chilly the last week or so here (at least in my book, but take that for what you will), I thought this would be the perfect opportunity.
I think besides the warming effect, one the things I love about making soup is the type of freedom you feel knowing that you can freely combine a few key ingredients and spices and end up with something warm and comforting. So, opening the fridge, I see that we have some Spanish chorizo Daniel picked up earlier in the week. Spanish chorizo can be less spicy than Mexican chorizo because its seasoned with paprika and dried peppers whereas Mexican chorizo typically uses more chili powder. I decided that the smokiness of the chorizo would work well with the chipotle peppers, so I combined the two, a little bit of tomato paste and some canned tomatoes. Once I finished, I decided that on its own the soup somewhat lacked an appropriate consistency, so I added a little bit of quinoa to obtain a nice stew-like texture.
Overall, the soup was perfect for the chilly evening, a little bit spicy but not overpowering thanks to the tomato base and the quinoa, and warmly satisfying for the beginning of what I'm sure will be a long and cold few months.
Chipotle Chorizo Tomato Soup with Quinoa
Approx 4 Ounces Spanish Chorizo, casings removed.
1/2 Small Onion
1 Garlic Clove
1/2 Tsp Paprika
Peppers from 1/2 Can of Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce; Diced
1 Small Can Tomato Paste
1 Large Can Whole Tomatoes
4 Cups Water
1/2 Cup Quinoa
1/2 Tbsp Olive Oil (if needed)
Salt & Pepper to Taste
1. Cook chorizo in heavy saucepan over medium high hat, using oil to coat pan if needed, but be aware that chorizo can render a higher fat content than some sausage. Once sausage begins to cook and render some of its juices, add onions and garlic and saute together. Once cooked, carefully drain excess oil, leaving approximatley 1 tbsp (should be bright red/orange colored).
2. Add tomato paste and paprika and stir evenly for approx one minute over medium heat. Add can of tomatoes including juice and chipotle peppers. Bring to a simmer and begin gently crushing tomatoes with back of spoon.
3. Begin adding water. Bring to a simmer and allow soup to reduce slightly for approximately ten minutes.
4. Rinse quinoa in warm water. Stir rinsed quinoa into simmering soup. Allow soup to simmer for 15-20 minutes until quinoa grains begin to separate.5. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Serve warm with optional garnish of cojita crumbles.