Spanish Chickpea soup with chorizo, paprika, and saffron is a dish full of bold flavors that reminds me of how wonderful it is to cook with vegetables. We seldom forget how mixing ingredients can bring a lifetime of memories, especially memories that reminds us of our upbringing, how we used to feel at the dinner table, how every day we looked forward to that special meal our mother or father would prepare for us, or how we use to look forward to the delightful smells coming out of the kitchen. I still remember my childhood, every day looking forward to dinner time, looking forward to enjoy all my favorites dishes.
Soup is defined in the dictionary as a liquid dish, typically made by boiling meat, fish, or vegetables, etc., in stock or water. In many cuisines for example Caribbean and Latin cuisines, soup can also be called bouillon which is the same definition mentioned earlier. In both Caribbean and Latin cuisines soup or bouillon, the combination of various ingredients in a large pot to create a nutritious meal, is oftentimes prepared on Saturdays.
Saturdays are usually dedicated for heavy house shores similar to Spring Cleaning. Because soup or bouillon is the easiest meal to make for large crowds, it is a favorite of many moms and cooks. Did you know that the history of soup is probably as old as the history of cooking? Yes! Think about it. A broth is usually the start of many dishes, hence a soup or bouillon base.
The recipe for Spanish Chickpea soup with chorizo, paprika, and saffron is actually made in a crockpot. And yes! I am making use of my crockpot again. The decision to make this soup was easy. The difficult part was finding the right chorizo.
Chorizo is a highly seasoned, coarsely ground pork sausage. Usually seasoned with garlic, chili powder and other spices, it is commonly used in Mexican and Spanish dishes. Mexican chorizo is made with fresh pork, while the Spanish version uses smoked pork. The casing should be removed before cooking. Chorizo makes a tasty addition to many dishes including casseroles, soups, stews and enchiladas. (foodterms.com)
Let’s talk about the recipe! I love soup and I am not going to lie and say that this particular soup was a breeze to prepare. You may wonder why since I used a crockpot. This soup is the real reason why you and I must use good ingredients. I have cooked with Chorizo before but this time it was a real challenge. A challenge that could have been avoided if I had stick to my regular Chorizo brand and shopped at my local supermarket.
The first time I made this soup I experimented with a new smoked chorizo brand which I had no clue how it tasted. Wrong move!!! I will never buy it and will never add it to my dishes. I have tried the same soup with regular sausages with no-antibiotics and synthetic hormones and the result is better in my opinion. Maybe it’s because I am not a great fan of smoked sausages.
This soup is full of vegetables such as carrots, celery, and spinach. The super food, chickpeas like other legumes such as beans, peas and lentils contain high protein and fiber. It is no wonder that Spanish Chickpea soup with chorizo, paprika, and saffron is very filling. The soup has a smoky taste and is hearty and as delicious as it can be if prepared with the right ingredients.
The original recipe is served with Manchego or Parmesan cheese, which I excluded for personal reason – too much salt. I invite you to make this wonderful soup and always remember to control your sodium intake.
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 3 thin celery ribs chopped with leaves reserved
- 1 large carrot chopped
- 2 garlic cloves chopped
- 8 oz. chorizo skinned, halves, then cut into ½ inch slices
- 14 oz. can chickpeas drained and rinsed
- 7 cups chicken stock low sodium preferably
- ¼ teaspoon Spanish smoked hot paprika pimento picante or ½ teaspoon paprika
- 4 oz. fresh spinach though stalks remove and leaves coarsely chopped into large pieces
- ¼ teaspoon saffron threads bruised with a mortar and pestle
- Manchego or Parmesan cheese shaved to serve (optional)
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the chopped onion, celery, and carrot. Gently sauté the vegetables for 5 minutes, until they begin to soften. Add the garlic, chorizo, chickpeas, stock, and paprika. Bring to a boil then transfer to the slow cooker. Cook on high for 2 hours.
- Add the spinach and reserved celery leaves and cook for 15 minutes longer. Add the saffron. Clean out the mortar with a little stock and add that too. Cook for a further 15 minutes.
- Serve hot in large, wide bowls. Add shavings of cheese if using, and serve with plenty of bread.