As I said in the most recent post on my weekly veg box, (Veg Box No.14) my heart sank a little when I went to pick it up. Nothing whatsoever to do with the brilliant Organic Wick who I pick up from, but more the realisation that even though it’s November, here was winter in a box and I wasn’t quite ready for it. Roots and cabbage…Roots and Cabbage….adlib to fade….
So how to turn a few, leeks, carrots, potatoes and cabbage into a glorious, comforting and filling soup easily, was my challenge of the day and here it is, my recipe for Leek and Chorizo Brodo, making the most of these winter beasts using up a few bits from the cupboard and fridge too.
Winter Wonder Warmer – Leek and Chorizo Brodo
6 leeks, washed (see Little note below) and chopped into 3 cm pieces
6 tablespoons olive oil
1 very large onion or 2 small, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
1 dried or fresh red chilli, just split in half lengthwise, but keeping attached to the stalk
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
100 g cooking chorizo, chopped into 2 cm cubes
a couple sprigs sage
couple sprigs thyme
A Parmesan rind, optional, see Little note below
100 g arborio rice
2 large potatoes, peeled and chopped into 3 cm cubes
1/2 cabbage, core removed and chopped into 4 cm squares
Parmesan or Pecorino grated to serve
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Heat oil and fry onion and carrot, red chilli, chopped garlic, for about 5 minutes then add the washed, chopped leeks…SEE NOTE….and cook slowly for 20-30 minutes or until all are softened well.
2. Add the chopped chorizo, sage, thyme and parmesan rind, (if using) and cook for a further 5 minutes.
3. Stir in the arborio, then pour over 2 1/2 litres water, the potatoes, and cabbage. Season, bring to a boil, and then reduce heat and simmer for another 20 minutes or until the rice and potato are tender. Taste for seasoning and serve with some grated Parmesan or Pecorino on the side.
Little notes….When I’m left with a piece of the tough Parmesan rind at the end of grating, I usually chuck it. (or keep it with the intention to use it, then chuck it!) But for this kind of brothy soup it’s brilliant to add flavour and depth. It will completely collapse once it’s cooked. If you don’t have one don’t worry.
Another little note….I usually have bits of bags of rice or pulses to use up, not quite enough for a full serving, but here was a perfect opportunity to use up a little Arborio rice found lurking at the back of the cupboard and bulk up my soup.
Yet another little note….Leeks can be terrible for dirt and grit, so the best way to clean them is to wash off any excess mud from the outside, then slice in quarters lengthwise all the way to the root. Plunge these leek brushes (!) into a sink or bowl of cold water and plunge in and out of the water, then refresh the water and repeat till all dirt grit has hopefully washed away and won’t be waiting for you at the bottom of your soup bowl!