Folks, if I have been a little absent of late, well I am still digging my way from a host of activities and projects going on around the house and at work. Take heart as all of you are still in my thoughts and note that I am still cooking and still eating; guess I didn't have to say that now did I. This is something similar to one of the recipes coming up in my next cookbook, but it is entirely different even though the idea of Spanish and Latin flavors blending with that from our locale are predominately in this soup as well.
This is another well liked soup that we enjoy, one that brings a host of flavors together in a perfect marriage. Like many families, this one boasts of elements from many countries bonded in harmony to the last spoonful. Enjoy!
Sausage, Bean, Spinach Soup
8 oz Spanish chorizo (or southern hot bulk sausage)
8 oz southern smoked link sausage
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 bell bell pepper, chopped
2 garlic toes, minced
5-6 cups chicken stock
1 Serrano pepper
1/3 cup dry sherry
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon Mexican oregano
salt and pepper to taste
2 -15 oz cans Peruano beans, drained and rinsed (cannellini or great northern is good too)
1 -9 oz bag spinach leaves, washed with stems removed
I like to cook the chorizo in the oven to remove the grease and to harden it up for the soup. Pinch off pieces about 1/2 teaspoon and place on baking sheet and place in a 375 degree F. oven for 20 minutes or until brown. Remove to paper lined plate and put aside.
Cut the link sausage in thin slices and cook in a stockpot over medium high heat browning on both sided. The sausage I use (turkey would be good) does not render much grease so watch carefully. Add the onion, bell pepper and garlic and cook until just tender. Add the stock and allow to come to a simmer. Add the whole serrano, sherry, bay leaf, oregano, salt and pepper to taste. Cover and reduce heat to low simmer.
Cook the soup stock for about 15 minutes on low. Stir in the beans, the cooked chorizo, cover and simmer another 15 minutes. Add the spinach and toss into the hot mixture until spinach wilts, about 5 minutes.
Remove from heat, ladle into bowl and serve with crusty bread. A grate of hard cheese is great over the top as is chopped scallions.
Note: I like to add a whole serrano or jalapeno pepper to simmering broths and stocks which allows me to remove it when the correct amount of heat from the pepper gets to my liking. Cut off both ends of the pepper pod, make a slit down two sides of the pod but not cutting all the way through or to the ends. This allows liquid to penetrate faster and makes removal easy without it turning to mush.