Our recent spell of wintery weather has certain advantages, as being housebound allows one the opportunity cook more. The warmth and heat from the oven and the savory aromas of a pot of soup bubbling away on the stove are enough to cheer even the most frigid dispositions. Plus, for us that love to create new recipes, there is a certain joy in discovering a new dish with items in the pantry.
Chorizo and Chickpea Stew is my new recommendation for a hearty, quick meal. The recipe uses just four ingredients, plus water, and can easily be prepared in one half hour.
Chorizo sausage is a highly seasoned, coarsely ground pork sausage that is flavored with garlic and chili powder. Removing the casing from the sausage, and crumbling it up while cooking, renders the savory fat that becomes the base for sautéing the chopped leeks. Onions would work also, but I enjoy the luxury of fresh leeks, or as they are known in France, the “poor man’s” asparagus.
Canned chickpeas or garbanzo beans are then added and cooked with a spicy tomato based sauce known as Puttanesca. An Italian favorite, Puttanesca is traditionally seasoned with more garlic, olives and capers. Add some water, and simmer the mélange for around 15 minutes before stirring in baby spinach, which adds a delicate and velvety texture. Serve with Cheesy Biscuits or Perfect Popovers and let it snow!
Chorizo & Chick Pea Stew
- 4 ounces Chorizo sausage
- 2-3 leeks, chopped (about 2 cups)
- 2 cups Puttanesca
- 2 cups water
- 1 15 ounce can chickpeas
- 3 cups (5 ounces) baby spinach
- sea salt and fresh pepper to taste
- Heat a heavy soup pot. Remove the casing from the sausage, crumble into the pot, and cook until just about done and the fat is rendered. Add the chopped leeks, and cook, stirring until the leeks start to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the Puttanesca Pizza & Pasta Sauce. Rinse out the jar with water, and add the 2 cups water. Bring to a simmer and cook, covered, for 15 minutes. Stir in the spinach and cook until wilted, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with sea salt and fresh pepper. Ladle into soup bowls and serve. Makes six servings.