Saturday, January 12, 2008

Black Bean Soup with Chorizo and Chicken

I am in such a soup mood today. Ashley, my daughter, is staying the night at her friend's house so it is safe for me to make this. Nothing like a finicky eating teenage daughter to look at you like you have lost your marbles because the food "just isn't normal". Long sigh. I have no idea where this child's taste buds came from but sometimes there are terrible thoughts of her making dinner for the family for a week but then we would be having corn dogs or macaroni and cheese every night. When we go to other family's homes, she eats everything in front of her and never whinces once. Not once! Always polite and tells the host it is delicious. Later, of course, I get the full story of what she didn't like or her wanting to know what the heck she just ate. . .which cracks me up every time. I pulled a fast one on her one night and told her she was eating chicken, when in fact she was eating rabbit. You see, when I was growing up, my family did not have much but it felt like we had the whole world because my parents had a huge vegetable garden, we raised rabbits and chickens for food and Mom baked all our bread. We also lived near the Pacific Ocean so we dug razor clams, pryed mussels off of rocks, ate fresh fish and crab. . .the good old days. Mom and I used to also go mushroom picking. My fondest memory is making homemade taffy with Mom. I was probably about 7 years old but I remember Mom spreading butter on my hands and the taffy being really warm and pulling, and pulling, and pulling. Yep. I had a blast!
Back to today. I cheated. I wanted to make this soup with the Chorizo but I STILL have sausages left that are roasted pepper with five cheese chicken sausage. I made the mistake of going to Costco. . .and of course they only sell things in humongous sizes, so what was suppose to be for Calzones earlier seems to be multiplying at a rapid rate in my refrigerator. I swore I only had a few left before I made the soup tonight. I STILL have a few left. Ugh! Either way, this soup is delicious. The broth is thin, but then it is suppose to be and the flavors are really nice together. I enjoy a lot of vegetables in my soups, so this soup was perfect. The sausage flavor didn't overpower the chicken and the black beans. This soup recipe came from the Siena restaurant in Cape Cod, MA.
Black Bean Soup with Chorizo and Chicken
2 T. olive oil
1 pound fresh chorizo or other spicy sausage, casings removed
2 c. chopped peeled carrots
1 1/2 c. chopped onion
1 1/2 c. chopped celery
2 bay leaves
6 garlic cloves, chopped
2 T. chopped fresh thyme
5 c. (or more) low-salt chicken broth
3 15-ounce cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add chorizo and next 4 ingredients. Saute' until sausage is cooked through, breaking up sausage with back of spoon, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and thyme; saute' 2 minutes. Add 5 cups broth; bring to boil, reduce heat to medium, and simmer 20 minutes. Add beans and chicken; simmer until chicken is just cooked through, about 10 minutes, adding more broth if desired. Discard bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper.

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