chorizo and chickpea soup

Aunt Suzy says . . . 

It’s soup Sunday up here in Minnesota! Waking up to minus 18 degrees (FAHRENHEIT!!) demands something warming. I recently found the soup cookbook, Soup Sisters and Broth Brothers Cookbook at my local library and since I’m always looking for a new twist on soup, I checked it out. This soup caught my eye because of lack of tomatoes and that fresh fennel was part of the base. I love tomatoes in soups, but it’s nice to have some tasty versions without. This was easy to make, even though it requires a lot of chopping. I made a huge pot and plan to freeze some of it, thinking it will freeze well. Enjoy with some crusty bread, a baguette or crostini and a nice white wine.

Chorizo and Chickpea Soup with Fennel

Ingredients – makes 5-8 servings

3-4 tablespoons olive oil

4-6 Spanish chorizo sausages, split lengthwise and sliced (we like Amylu Chicken Chorizo)

1 large onion

1-2 carrots, small dice

2-3 stalks celery, small dice

2-3 small fennel bulbs, cored, small dice

1-2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary

4-6 garlic cloves, minced

3/4-1 1/4 cup dry white wine

6-9 cups chicken stock, homemade or your favorite store-bought

Several sprigs thyme tied together with kitchen string

Salt and pepper to taste

3-4 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas (2-3 small cans or cooked from dried)


Heat a stockpot or Dutch oven to medium high and coat with the olive oil. Add the sliced chorizo and saute till slightly browned. Note, this recipe uses Spanish style fully cooked chorizo, not Mexican chorizo which is raw. Remove from the pot with a slotted spoon and set aside. Turn the heat down to medium and add the onion, carrots, celery, rosemary and fennel. Saute until the vegetables start to soften 5-8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook a couple of more minutes. Add the white wine and simmer for a few minutes to burn off the alcohol. Add the chicken stock and the thyme. Bring to a boil, turn down the heat and simmer 20-30 minutes. Add the cooked chickpeas and simmer 10-20 more minutes to blend the flavors. Remove the thyme bundle before serving.






Caldo Verde - Sweet and Savory Kitchens

Margaux says…

A soup similar to this was posted by a bunch of people on Pinterest recently, which I made and liked a lot. Then Aunt Suzy emailed me this recipe, which was very similar but looked better. Instead of using cream to make it a creamy soup, you puree some of the potatoes, which I like better. I waited a few weeks to try this one out so that we didn’t over do the potato-greens-sausage soup around here, and I’m so glad I got around to making this! It is fantastic…blows the other soup out of the soup pot. Ha! And my husband, Jason, raved about it as well, claiming it to have the “best broth ever.” He’s really good about complimenting my cooking, but this was more emotion than he usually shows about food. So I put this one in the “win” column and will be definitely making it again!

I think that you can switch out different kinds of greens/sausage/potatoes to suit your likes. I made it with spicy Italian sausage because that’s what I had on hand, instead of the chorizo. Next time I’ll make it with the chorizo probably, but the spicy Italian was still good. I prefer Yukon gold potatoes, but russet would be fine, too. And as for the greens, I would stick with tougher, bitter greens like collard, or any type of kale. I don’t think spinach or chard would hold up as well. The main thing that made this soup stand out to me was the process of taking out part of the potatoes and pureeing them to make the broth thick and creamy.

Aunt Suzy says..

As Margaux mentioned, our initial foray into the greens/potato/sausage soup arena was a recipe we saw on Pinterest that we both made exactly according to the recipe, me with chicken and Margaux with pork sausage.  Then my guy Randy shared this recipe with us from Cook’s Illustrated, which we tried shortly thereafter. I’ve made the Pinterest one with regular kale and unpeeled russets and another time with Lacinato kale, unpeeled Yukon Golds and fully cooked Italian sausage from Trader Joe’s. And then I’ve made this recipe exactly as specified.  All are really good, but I think this one is the winner.  Pureeing some of the potatoes with olive oil creates an emulsion that makes for a very silky texture without dairy. Today, I’ve made one of our favorite stewsand Randy asked me if it included sausage – hehe, guess we’ve had enough sausage around here for a while.

Caldo Verde
adapted from Cook’s Illustrated


¼ cup EV olive oil

12 ounces Spanish-style chorizo sausage, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (fully cooked, not fresh Mexican)

1 medium onion, chopped fine

4 garlic cloves, minced

Salt and pepper

¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes, or more to taste

2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces

4 cups chicken stock or broth

4 cups water

1 pound collard greens, stemmed and cut into 1-inch pieces

2 teaspoons white wine vinegar, optional


Heat 1 tablespoon oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add chorizo and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer chorizo to bowl and set aside. Reduce heat to medium and add onion. Cook for a few minutes till translucent. Add the garlic, 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, pepper flakes and black pepper to taste. Cook, stirring frequently, another 3 minutes. Add potatoes, broth, and water; increase heat to high and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, until potatoes are just tender, 8 to 10 minutes.

Remove 3/4 cup solids and 3/4 cup broth to a bowl or measuring cup.  Set aside. Add collard greens to pot and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in chorizo and continue to simmer until greens are tender, 8 to 10 minutes longer.

Add 2-3 tablespoons olive oil to solids/broth mixture that was set aside. Place in blender jar (or use immersion blender) and process until very smooth and emulsified, about 1 minute. Remove pot from heat and stir pureed soup mixture and vinegar, if using, into soup. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve. (Soup can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.)

Cook’s Notes: If you live near a Whole Foods, Amylu Chicken Chorizo in a 9-ounce package works really well with this and the 9-ounces seemed like enough.  You can try with or without the vinegar. AS didn’t use it and Margaux did.

Chicken Chili

October 13, 2013

Chicken Chili - Sweet and Savory Kitchens

Margaux says…

We have been BUSY around here.  With Desi starting school and Stella being at that age where she doesn’t sleep all the time anymore and is into EVERYTHING, I haven’t had time to do much of anything other than cook dinner and do dishes.  The rest of the (extremely dirty) house and my side projects have definitely suffered.  But fall is here, and I’m cooking new and fun things again, so I’m doing my best to make time to post about them.
Charred Veggies - Sweet and Savory Kitchens

My husband raved about this chili, and actually got really protective over the leftovers. I knew this meant that he really REALLY liked it, because usually I’m the only one in this house that eats any leftovers.  The charred veggies gives the chili a little bit of a smoky flavor…it’s very different than any chili I’ve ever made.  So I’m definitely making it again, even though that means I’ll have to make Desi his own little pot of chili because this one has meat in it AND is pretty spicy. But that’s ok…more leftovers for us.

Chicken Chili

adapted from Martha Stewart Living

10 plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise

1 jalapeno (or I used a Fresno because the jalapenos didn’t look that good)

1 yellow onion, peeled and halved

4 garlic cloves, peeled

2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

1 3/4-2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1/2″ cubes

1/4 cup chili powder


2 canned chipotle chiles in adobo, finely chopped

1 1/2 cups chicken stock

2-14 oz. cans dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

Preheat broiler, with rack 3 inches from heat source.  Arrange tomatoes, jalapeno and onion, cut side down, on a rimmed baking sheet.  Broil until starting to char, about 5 minutes.  Pulse tomatoes and jalapeno in food processor until chunky.  Chop onion and mince garlic.

Heat a large dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Add oil.  Working in batches, brown chicken in a single layer, allowing to sear before stirring, 5-6 minutes.  Transfer to a plate.

Reduce heat to medium.  Add onion to skillet.  Cook until soft and golden, about 8 minutes.  Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add chili powder and 1 1/2 tsp salt.  Cook, stirring for one minute.  Stir in chipotles, and drain fat off chicken and add chicken to the pot.  Raise heat to high.  Add tomato-jalapeno mixture.  Cook, scraping up browned bits, until fully incorporated, 3-5 minutes.  Stir in stock; simmer for 20 minutes.  Add beans, simmer for 10 minutes.  We served topped with sour cream and tortilla chips on the side…it would also be great with shredded cheese and chopped avocados, and with corn bread on the side.

Pappa Al Pomodoro

January 7, 2012

Margaux says…

Happy birthday, Desi! My son is 3 today, and it reminded me of this soup, which I made for his birthday party last year. This year we’re skipping a meal with the party, but I made the soup this week anyway because it was on my mind, and it is SO GOOD!!! This has got to be at least in my top 5 favorite soups, if not number 1. I saw Ina make it on Barefoot Contessa last fall, and have made it SEVERAL times since. It was in the same “bread” episode that I got this recipe, which is also pretty wonderful. Anyway, back to the soup…for one thing, it has fennel in it, which is fast becoming one of my favorite ingredients. If you haven’t tried fennel yet, you must…it adds so much flavor to things! The other awesome thing about this soup is the topping–you have to make that part, because it’s divine. If you’re making the soup vegetarian, it’s no problem, the topping will be just as good without the pancetta (although you may need to add a smidge of olive oil to make up for the lack of grease).

If you’ve never used fennel before, you chop it like you would an onion. First, you need to remove the stalks completely, then cut the bottom off, and then slice it lengthwise. Remove the outer layer, and cut out the core at the bottom. Then lay one half cut-side down on a chopping board, and slice lengthwise into 1/4″ slices. Then slice again crosswise, in about 1/4″ slices. Super easy.

If you have leftover croutons after the soup’s all been eaten up, they also taste great on salads (including the pancetta)!

Make this vegetarian by replacing the chicken broth with water, and eliminating the pancetta. Make it vegan by eliminating the parmesan, which I actually did last time I made it and it was just as delicious! I found that one large loaf of ciabatta will work for both the soup and the topping. I don’t remove all the crusts from the bread that I put in the soup, just the toughest bottom part (I have a hard time wasting all that bread!).

Pappa Al Pomodoro

from Barefoot Contessa

1/2 cup good olive oil
2 cups chopped yellow onion (2 onions)
1 cup medium-diced carrots, unpeeled (3 carrots)
1 fennel bulb, trimmed, cored, and medium-diced (1 1/2 cups)
4 teaspoons minced garlic (4 cloves)
3 cups (1-inch) diced ciabatta cubes, crusts removed
2 (28-ounce) cans good Italian plum tomatoes
4 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade (water for vegetarian)
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan (eliminate for vegan)

For the topping:
3 cups (1-inch) diced ciabatta cubes
2 ounces thickly sliced pancetta, chopped (eliminate for vegetarian)
24 to 30 whole fresh basil leaves
3 tablespoons good olive oil, plus more for serving
Salt and pepper

Heat the oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, fennel, and garlic and cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, until tender. Add the ciabatta cubes and cook for 5 more minutes. Place the tomatoes in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade and process just until coarsely chopped. Add the tomatoes to the pot along with the chicken stock, red wine, basil, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper. Bring the soup to a boil, lower the heat, and allow to simmer, partially covered, for 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

For the topping, place the ciabatta cubes, pancetta, and basil on a sheet pan large enough to hold them in a single layer. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and toss well. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 to 25 minutes, until all the ingredients are crisp. The basil leaves will turn dark and crisp, which is perfectly fine.

Reheat the soup, if necessary, beat with a wire whisk until the bread is broken up. Stir in the Parmesan and taste for seasoning. Serve hot sprinkled with the topping and drizzled with additional olive oil.

Pasta e Fagioli

December 31, 2011

Margaux says…

I think I’ve had enough meat and potatoes to last me a lifetime. I can’t believe those words are coming out of my mouth…I’m a total meat-and-potatoes kind of girl. But we had the most rich food over the holidays (like, for example, potatoes whipped with a stick of butter, 8 oz. cream cheese, and a cup of sour cream!), and then had them as leftovers, and I think I’ve really had enough.

I found this recipe last year on Food 52, and have made it a couple of times. It’s quick and easy, and very heartwarming. And you can easily make it vegetarian by omitting the bacon,  instead using 2 tbsp olive oil to saute the veggies, and vegetable broth or water in place of the chicken broth. We’re definitely going to be eating things like this for the next several weeks!!

Pasta e Fagioli
adapted from “Jenny’s in the Kitchen” blog on Food 52
serves 4-5

4 slices bacon, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 small stalks celery
4 cups chicken broth
2 cans cannelini beans, rinsed and drained
1 28 oz. can whole tomatoes, drained and chopped
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup dittalini
1/4 cup fresh parsley, minced
grated Parmesan

1. In a Dutch oven, cook bacon over moderate heat, stirring until crisp. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft and transparent. Add celery and cook another couple minutes. Add broth, salt and oregano and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to low, and simmer, covered, for 5 minutes.

2. In a bowl mash 1 cup of the beans, then stir them into the onion mixture along with the remaining whole beans, tomatoes, and pasta. Simmer the soup, covered, for 15 minutes, or until pasta is al dente. Then remove from heat and let stand, still covered, for 5 minutes.

3. Stir in parsley and grated parmesan (I used about 1/4 cup). Serve with crusty bread.

Aunt Suzy says . . .

This recipe from Stephanie Meyer of Fresh Tart showed up in my Facebook feed at just the right time.  I had just made 5 quarts of turkey stock and had leftover turkey and many other ingredients on hand.  Plus, it was 9 degrees out – perfect for a hearty soup.  I added the term “old world” because it has many ingredients that fall into that category to me  – cabbage, turnip, potatoes, polish sausage, etc.  This is my riff on her original recipe, which used chicken/chicken stock.  This soup is slightly sweet, so I recommend serving it with a sour, hearty bread and sweet cream butter.  I’ll mention for you Minneapolitans that pictured is the Miche loaf from Rustica – a perfect complement!

1 medium onion, diced

1 leek, thoroughly rinsed and sliced (white part)

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

8 cups turkey stock

2 carrots, peeled and sliced

1 medium turnip, diced

2 russet potatoes, diced

2 smoked sausages*, sliced

1 cup shredded cabbage

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 can great northern beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup (or so) cooked turkey, diced

salt and pepper to taste

Coat the bottom of a dutch oven with the oil and bring to medium-high heat.  Add the onion and leek, turn the heat down to medium and saute for about 5 minutes until soft.  Add the garlic and saute 2 minutes more until fragrant.  Add the stock, bring to a boil, turn down heat and simmer for 1 hour, covered.  Add the carrots, turnip, potatoes, sausage, cabbage and thyme and simmer for 30 minutes uncovered, till vegetables are done and liquid is reduced.  I recommend that you check after 20 minutes to make sure that you don’t overcook the vegetables.  Add the beans, turkey, salt and pepper and heat to serving temperature.  This can be made ahead and reheated, but it won’t freeze well because of the potatoes.

*The recipe called for polish sausage.  I had chicken andouille sausage on hand so used it.  I think any smoked sausage would work well with this soup.

Aunt Suzy says

It’s soup weather and this recipe is perfect for this time of year.  It uses pumpkin and sweet corn, and there is a very narrow slice of time when fresh sweet corn and winter squash are both available locally.  This soup is tied for first on my list of favorites with Rosemary and White Bean Soup.  I can’t wait for this time of year to make this recipe, and it’s just cool enough out today for soup.  A Viognier was recommended as a wine pairing for this soup – a French version goes perfectly!

The Pumpkin

1 small sugar pumpkin or butternut squash (about 1 1/2 pounds)

Cut the pumpkin or squash in half, seed and cut into 1 1/4-inch slices.  I like the pumpkin flavor better, but squash is good if you can’t find the little sugar pumpkins.  Brush the slices lightly with vegetable oil.  Place on a baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes, until just tender.  Don’t overcook or it will get mushy when added to the soup.  Let cool and then remove and discard the skin.  Cut into 1/2-inch dice and set aside.

The Soup Base

2 teaspoons vegetable oil

1 medium onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 quarts chicken stock

1-2 chipotle chiles in adobo (from a can)

1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen corn

1 1/2 cups cooked black or pink beans

(This is a pic of my mise en place for this phase of the soup.  I love knowing this term, which I learned recently from this interesting N Y Times magazine article on cooking prep.)  In a large dutch oven or soup pot, saute the onion in the oil for about 5 minutes until soft.  Turn up the heat a little and cook until the onion starts to brown.  Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.  Add the chicken stock and bring to a slow simmer.  Rinse, seed and thinly slice the chipotle peppers then add to the broth.  I recommend starting with one and seeing how much heat it adds to the soup, adding the second one if you’d like to amp it up a little.  Simmer the broth with the pepper for a couple of minutes and then add the pumpkin, corn and beans.  Simmer over moderate heat for 15 minutes.  COOK’S NOTES:  This can be done a day ahead of time.  If so, reheat before going on to completing the soup.  For a vegetarian version of this soup, use mock chicken broth powder to make the broth.  Substitute brown rice or tofu or both or none for the chicken in the next step.

Completing/Serving the Soup

2 cups diced chicken meat

3 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1/2 cup chopped cilantro

1 lime, cut into wedges

1 ripe Haas avocado, sliced

Stir the chicken into the broth and cook until just heated through – do not boil.  Add the lime juice, the cilantro and season with salt. COOK’S NOTE:  I use more cilantro and less chicken, sometimes omitting the chicken altogether.  You can use chicken from making the stock, leftover rotisserie chicken, or (as I did this time), bake a couple of chicken breasts or thighs.

Ready to serve!   Ladle the soup into large soup bowls.  Pass the lime wedges and avocado.

Bean-Barley Soup

May 15, 2010

Margaux says

My Aunt Suzy and I have decided to do this blog together! We both love to cook and bake (she more cooking, me more baking), and thought it would be fun and make for a more interesting blog. And of course, it means MORE RECIPES!! 🙂 This is our first joint post. Some of our posts will be joint like this, because many times we end up cooking the same things due to recipe sharing. Other posts will be independent, and I’m guessing that most of hers will be cooking and most of mine will continue to be baking.

I’ve been wanting to cook more vegetarian dishes and when Suzy was down in mid-February I suggested that we make this soup from We had a lot of fun cooking together and as we usually do, we made some adaptations to the recipe.

Aunt Suzy says . . .
I think cooking more vegetarian is a great idea for both health and the pocketbook. And I loved this soup – the unusual flavor, the creaminess of the beans and the unique mix of vegetables. It’s different in a number of ways from most vegetable soups. It doesn’t start with the usual vegetable soup base of mirepoix, instead using ginger as one of the base ingredients. Whoever made this up also took a different approach to the herbs. This adds up to a delicious soup that’s easy, especially if you use canned beans. It was lots of fun to cook this with Margaux while Desi floated around our ankles and generally entertained us.

Just coincidentally, Margaux and I both cooked this soup a second time last week! I made a few more adaptations from the first time we cooked it, the biggest one was I used Trader Joe’s 17-bean+barley soup mix (dried) – thanks Aunt Cindy for the suggestion. At $1.69 for the 1-lb package, I thought it worth a try. I used the entire package of beans after cooking, which was twice the amount of beans called for, so I cut back on the potatoes. It was delicious, but I think I like the original chickpea/kidney bean combo slightly better. Probably the most work of this recipe is chopping the ingredients.

I really like how all the vegetables and then herbs are sauteed together before adding the liquid and beans. Really makes for a great flavor base.

I think this is the kind of recipe that you can play around with and adjust to your taste. It can be more brothy or thicker and you can adjust quantities and types of veggies. I’ve thought cauliflower might be an interesting addition!

Margaux says . . .
The second time I made it, I used a crock pot, which is what the recipe was actually developed for. I didn’t even saute any of the veggies prior to putting it all together in the crock pot. I was very pressed for time (as usual, with a one-year-old), and so I threw it all in and let it cook for 6 hours while I was at work. It definitely wasn’t as flavorful, and I think that if I were going to do it in the slow cooker again, I would take the time to saute the veggies first.

I did put in the soy sauce, this time, and I don’t really think that it made much of a difference. I don’t know that I would bother again.

Barley Bean Vegetable Soup
Makes 8-10 servings

1 ½ cups cooked garbanzo beans (or 1-16 oz. can, drained & rinsed)
1 ½ cups cooked kidney beans (or 1-16 oz. can, drained & rinsed)
½ cup dried pearl barley, cooked according to package directions (save the liquid)
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium carrots, diced
3 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
2 celery stalks, diced
½ lb green beans, sliced in 1-inch sections (or 1-10 oz package frozen cut green beans)
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
½-1 jalapeno pepper seeded and minced
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon each basil, thyme, marjoram and paprika
1 teaspoon whole fennel seeds, crushed slightly in a mortar and pessel
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
3 tablespoons tomato paste
6-8 cups total liquid – can be a combo of water, barley cooking liquid and bean cooking liquid if you cooked dried beans
1 tablespoon Bragg’s Amino Acids or soy sauce (optional)
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley (optional)

Stovetop Instructions:
In a large soup pot or dutch oven, heat the oil on medium heat until shimmering.
Add the carrots, celery, potatoes, green beans (if using fresh), bell pepper, jalapeno and ginger. Increase heat a bit and saute for 5-6 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for 1 minute, until fragrant. Add all herbs except the bay leaf and saute for 1-2 minutes more.

Add a little of the water or bean liquid and then the tomato paste. Stir until blended and then add the rest of the liquid along with the beans and the barley – more liquid for a brothier soup and less for a thicker soup. Add the bay leaf. (If using frozen green beans, add here.) Bring to a boil, turn down heat and then simmer for 20-30 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.

Slow Cooker instructions:
1. Slow Slow Cooking: You can either sauté the veggies and spices first, then add to the crockpot, or just throw everything in cold, set the crockpot on low, cover and cook for 6 hours.

2. Quick Slow Cooking: Sauté veggies & spices as above, transfer to preheated Crockpot with hot beans, barley & liquid. Simmer 2 – 3 hours on low. Keep your eye on it for the first time, as cooking times vary with crockpot size and make.

To Serve:
Before serving stir in the Bragg’s or soy sauce and the parsley. Serve in your favorite soup bowls along with a crusty bread. A not too tart Sauvignon Blanc pairs nicely with this soup.