BEAN AND CHORIZO SOUP
In Spain, for a soup like this, the potatoes are not cut but broken. A starchy potato is required but one that will hold its shape after a long period of cooking. This encourages more starch to be released in the cooking process, which thickens soups and stews and leaves the potatoes and the soup or stew delightfully creamy. To naturally break potatoes: Slide the handle of a dessert spoon into the potato. Put pressure on spoon and break off pieces of potato. Continue to break till the desired size piece is obtained.
2 bay leaves
8 parsley stalks
30ml (2 tbsp) oil
180g (1) medium onion (finely diced)
10 cloves garlic (peeled and halved)
220g (1) pig’s trotter
250g (1) lamb shank
1750ml (7 cups) water
430g haricot beans (soaked overnight and drained of any water)
250g (1) large starchy potato (peeled and broken into 3-4cm pieces) (we have used Agria)120g chorizo (cut into 5mm slices)
1 tsp Spanish sweet smoked paprika
½ tsp Spanish bitter sweet paprika
2 tbsp piquillo peppers (finely chopped)
2cm piece dried chilli (roughly chopped)
115g (3) tomatoes (peeled, seeded and chopped)
2 tbsp parsley (finely chopped)
Maldon sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
15ml (1 tbsp) Spanish sherry vinegar
Tie bay leaves and parsley stalks together.
In a large, heavy-based saucepan, or cast iron casserole, heat oil till hot. Add onion, garlic, pig’s trotter, lamb shank, bay leaves and parsley stalks. Sauté till onion and garlic are soft and lamb shank is browned on all sides, about 5-6 minutes.
Add water and drained beans. Cover with a lid and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
Add potatoes, chorizo, paprikas, piquillo peppers, chilli, tomatoes, parsley, salt and pepper, and simmer with lid on for a further 50-60 minutes till potatoes and beans are creamy soft.
Turn off heat, stir in sherry vinegar and let rest for 30 minutes, or overnight for optimum flavour.
Remove pig’s trotter and discard. Remove lamb shank and remove all meat. Cut meat into bite-size pieces and return to the soup. Discard the bone.
Remove bay leaves and parsley stalks and discard. Reheat till soup is hot. Taste for seasoning and serve.