Friday, February 25, 2011

Portuguese Garbanzo and Chorizo Soup

     This Portuguese style soup is one of the best tasting bean soups that there is!  The flavor of the chorizo sausage is thoroughly infused in the broth and beans.  Dried or canned garbanzo beans can be used to make this soup.  Canned garbanzo beans still need quite a bit of simmering time to make them soft enough to become part of the broth.  The longer this soup simmers, the thicker the broth gets.
     This same soup is made in Spain.  There are many sausage and garbanzo soup versions in Spain and  Portugal.   I learned this soup a long time ago while working at a Florida bayside Swiss restaurant.  The chef was from Switzerland and the owner was from Portugal.  The owner of the restaurant was quite good at cooking traditional food from his home country.  When we ran this soup as a soup du jour, the owner cooked this soup.  The Swiss chef would laugh and say that he could not cook this soup any better than the owner could.  I watched this soup being cooked a few times and remembered how simply the soup was made.  Some soups do not require any special techniques.
      I later served this fine soup in cafes and pubs.  Customers love this soup!  One taste of this mildly spiced garbanzo bean soup and you will see why!
     Portuguese Garbanzo and Chorizo Soup Recipe:
     This recipe makes 1 large serving or 2 small servings!
     Simmer 10 ounces of cooked dried garbanzo beans or canned garbanzo beans in water over low heat, till they just start to become very tender.
     Drain off half of the water.
     Add enough pork broth to cover the beans with 2" of extra liquid.
     Add 2 tablespoons of chopped smoked bacon.  (The smoked bacon acts as a fat and it does not need to be cooked first.)
     Add 1 bay leaf.
     Cover the pot.
     Continue to simmer the soup till the beans become very tender.
     Mash at least half of the garbanzo beans in the pot with a potato masher.
     Add 1/3 cup of diced carrot.
     Add 1/4 cup of diced celery.
     Add 1/3 cup of diced onion.
     Add 1/3 cup of diced bell pepper.
     Add 1 minced garlic clove.
     Cover the pot and continue to simmer the soup, till the vegetables become tender.
     Add 1 peeled and seeded diced plum tomato.
     Add 4 to 6 ounces of thick sliced cooked chorizo sausage.
     Add 2 pinches of thyme.
     Add 2 pinches of oregano.
     Add 1 pinch of cayenne pepper.
     Add 2 pinches of paprika.
     Add sea salt and black pepper.
     Gently simmer the soup, till the flavors meld and till the crushed garbanzo beans become smooth and till they thicken the broth.
     Stir the soup occasionally.
     Add 1/2 of a minced green onion.
     Simmer for 5 more minutes.
     Remove the bay leaf.
     Ladle the soup into a bowl.
     Garnish with an Italian parsley sprig.
     The aroma of this soup is warm and comforting!  The herbs, spices and vegetables add a very nice flavor to the garbanzo beans.  The spicy chorizo sausage is perfectly suited for the flavor of the garbanzo beans.  This is a great chilly weather soup!  Yum!  ...  Shawna  

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