Saturday, 19 March 2011

Chorizo, Chickpea & Bean Stew

We've been stuck in a food rut. And yes, whilst eating meat, potato and veg in it's various guises is always good, enough was enough. We weren't quite ready to dust off the salad servers but with a whole two days of almost springlike weather our senses were awakened and we were craving new flavours. Goodness was needed and lots of it, something less heavy and definitely no stodge! A kind of transitional meal to awaken us from the depths of winter and get us ready for spring.

And oh by jove, this soupy stew ticked all the right boxes. Delicious Spanish chorizo mixed with vegetables and beans with a bit of a kick. How could you not feel good after that? It's still warming and comforting so I wouldn't exactly call it light but it sure hit the spot. It's a great value little dish but if I can say one thing it would be to buy the best quality chorizo that you can afford. It really will make the dish.

So what have we got?

lots of good stuff...check
lots of healthiness...check
lots of deliciousness...check

This is so simple to make and will make you feel all warm and healthy inside. Yes, I think we're onto a winner...enjoy!


Based on this recipe from BBC Good Food
Serves 8

You want to keep the chorizo and vegetables quite chunky so they don't break down during cooking. This is one of those meals that tastes better the next day so if you're clever you'll make up a huge batch and have it the next night too.

1tbsp olive oil
250g chorizo, sliced
2 large onions, chopped
4 sticks of celery, chopped into 1cm pieces
4 carrots, chopped into 1cm pieces
200g mushrooms, quartered
large pinch of chilli flakes
2tsp smoked paprika
a 400g tin of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
a 400g tin of red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
12 tbsp red lentils
1 litre chicken stock


Firstly, in a large heavy bottomed pan, fry the chorizo in the oil for a minute or so. Add the onions and continue to cook for 5 minutes until they start to soften. The oils form the chorizo will coat the onions and you'll have to be careful how much you 'taste' along the way. You know, just to make sure it tastes good.

Pop the mushrooms in the pan and let them cook down for a few minutes before adding the carrots and celery. Give everything a good stir and allow to cook a little bit more for about 5 minutes.

Now all you've got to do is stir in the chilli powder and smoked paprika, add the chickpeas, beans, lentils and stock and simmer for about 30 minutes until the vegetables are tender. I didn't add any salt or pepper as there was already enough salt from the stock and enough other flavours going to omit pepper. But if you think yours needs extra seasoning then go for it. Knock yourself out.

Serve with crusty bread and lashings of butter.

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