52 Cookbooks #41: Sopa de Castañas

The recipe I've chosen this week is a Chestnut and Chorizo soup and it's a Moro recipe by Sam Clark and Sam Clark. The book is a charity compilation of soups put together by Thomasina Myers (of MasterChef fame) and Annabel Buckingham called Soup Kitchen. The recipe that tempted me to buy this book was the EAT Hungarian Goulash, which I often ate for lunch from the EAT eateries - well as often as I spotted it on their menus anyway. And yes, I've made that soup and it was good. 


This is an unusual soup for me to choose, mainly because the soups I normally make don't tend to include meat... but I was happy to make an exception for some smoky chorizo! And as luck would have it I already had some chestnuts - two packets just lurking in the cupboard waiting for some Brussels sprouts to wander along. 

So it starts with a chopped Spanish onion, a diced carrot, celery and chorizo frying in olive oil until they're lovely and brown and caramelised. Then add a couple of cloves of sliced garlic, some ground cumin and some thyme along with two crushed dried chillies for some heat. 

Next in went two tomatoes - I used tinned plum tomatoes - and after a couple of minutes in went the two packs of vac-packed chestnuts. The recipe said 500g, but I only had 400g so I went with that, before adding a litre of water.

Then I let the soup simmer until everything was soft before mashing it with a potato masher.   I was curious about this as the recipe said to mash "until almost smooth but still with a little bit of texture" - how on earth would the chorizo mash?!  The answer is it didn't really, but the chestnuts and the vegetables did (mostly). The result was a substantial and textured soup for lunch, with extras for lunch during the week for both MOH and I. 


The verdict:

- this was a tasty, chunky and filling soup with a hint of spice, which was easy to make taking about 45 minutes from start to finish

- I would never have thought to use chestnuts in a soup, but they worked well

- MOH could taste the cumin (which I was quite impressed by) and has said he'll take it to work for lunch, which is high praise :) 

- for an extra flourish I served it with some yogurt on the top, and I'm already looking forward to my next bowl of this.