Spanish Style Chorizo and Chestnut Soup

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Ecclesiastes 1:9

The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.

This is how I feel when some “not always available” or “hard to find on a daily basis” food items show up at the grocery store, and I decide they would taste good together.

“Not always available ingredients” like authentic Spanish Chorizo and vacuum packed chestnuts.  Don’t ask me why, but I thought “I bet these would taste good together – let me make a recipe.”  So I bought them both.

Sure enough, all anyone has to do, is google the ingredients they want to use. Someone already did this.  

And they might have been doing this for hundreds, or even thousands of years.

Nothing new under the sun, folks.  Apparently other people thought that chorizo and chestnuts would taste good together.  And I LOVE finding that out!  Someone, somewhere, at some time, thought the same thing! 

I’ve never been to Spain, but according to a preliminary search of “chorizo and castagna zuppa”, this dish is somewhat popular with chefs around the globe who all say that it’s Spanish in origin.  

I’ve probably made this about 4 times in the last 4 months.  It takes a bit of time to make.  You can eat it right away, but it is really really good the next day.

Pasta is not usually included, but now, at the 5th time, my husband and I agree it tastes better with “a bit of pasta”.  We had it plain, we had it with a bit of bread in the broth, and we had it with bread on the side.

It tastes the best when you serve it the day after cooking it, with “a bit of pasta”.  I put the pasta on the side so everyone can choose how much they want to put in.

*note: the browning (caramelization) of the onions and chorizo is an important step to building a deep, rich flavor*

This is a recipe for 2

Spanish Style Chorizo and Chestnut Soup

1 medium onion, chopped

85 g (3 oz) Spanish Chorizo, chopped

1 T olive oil

1 clove fresh garlic, minced (or 1/2 t dried garlic powder)

1 stalk celery, chopped

1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped

1/2 C strong red wine

1 T tomato paste

1 T dried oregano

1 can tomatoes

1 litre vegetable broth

1 bay leaf

200 g (7 oz) vacuum packed chestnuts, chopped

1 C small dried pasta, cooked to al dente

Cook olive oil, onions, and chorizo over med/low heat in an uncovered stock pot.  Cook, stirring once in a while for about 10 minutes or until onions are starting to brown.

Stir in garlic, celery, and carrots, cover, and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring at least once.  Add wine, stir, and scrape up any little bits that might have stuck to the bottom of the pan.  

Stir in tomato paste and oregano.  Add the tomatoes, vegetable broth, and bay leaf.  Stir and cover.

Simmer for at least an hour, stirring occasionally.

Remove from heat and let cool down a bit before proceeding to the next step.

Pour 1/2 the soup into a blender and add the chopped chestnuts.  Blend on high until smooth.  The color will change from a deep, dark red, to a light cream color.

Return the chestnut blend to the stock pot, add the fresh oregano, stir, cover, and simmer for another hour, stirring occasionally.

Let the soup cool down, and then transfer it to a container for the refrigerator.

For serving, heat the soup, ladle into dishes, top with fresh parsley, and then add the cooked pasta directly to the soup, or serve the pasta on the side for everyone to add as they will.

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Oyster Mushrooms in Ginger Turmeric Broth

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Who knew that Oyster Mushrooms (Pleurotus ostreatus), contained something called “Ubiquitin” which stops influenza A viruses in their tracks?  Flu viruses from that strain simply can’t replicate themselves in your cells if “ubiquitin” is present.

All I know, is that I have been craving vegetables, and soup.  Yes, I’ve been eating other things, but mainly I crave vegetables and soup.

This easy soup comes together in less than 1/2 an hour, and serves 2 people with small appetites.

*Edited to add 1/2 t maitake mushroom powder, stirred in at the end.  The maitake mushroom is another strong immune system builder*

Oyster Mushrooms in Ginger Turmeric Broth

1 litre – 4 cups vegetable broth

1 t grated ginger

1 t grated turmeric

1/2 t ground pepper

1 t dried lemongrass

1 t minced garlic

Bring all ingredients to a boil.  Then add next ingredients.  Reduce to simmer and add next ingredients.

1 large piece coste or bok choy, sliced thin

1/2 t fresh hot pepper,minced (or more depending on heat)

Simmer for 5 minutes or so.

80 grams fresh oyster mushrooms, whole, woody bottom removed

Simmer for another 5 minutes or so.  Remove from heat.

1/2 t coconut oil

1/2 t maitake mushroom powder

minced chives

Stir in oil and mushroom powder.  Top with chives, ladle into dishes, and serve.

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