A delicious, hearty and filling soup, with spicy, smokey chorizo flavours, nutty chickpeas and fresh spinach.
Chorizo really is a star ingredient, packed full of flavour which is released in the oils when you cook it, which is enhanced in my spicy chorizo, chickpea and spinach soup by the fresh garlic, chilli and smoked paprika in it (which means that even if you chose to leave out the chorizo, to make this soup vegetarian, it would still have the delicious chilli, smoky paprika and garlic flavours in it). There are many different varieties of chorizo - some cured and eaten as they are, others for cooking, with regional varieties containing subtly different herbs and spices.
And then there's the question of pronunciation. Is it 'choritho', 'shoriso', or 'choritso' or something else - a certain feisty Spanish lady, Maria at Feisty Tapas is quite adamant it's 'cho-ree-thoh', and I'm certainly not going to disagree with her!
This hearty soup serves six - and if you have leftovers they will freeze beautifully - or the next day, you could transform them into a meal, by adding a tin or two of your favourite white beans to them (e.g. butterbeans, or cannellini etc., rinsed and drained) or some roasted vegetables and topping with a chunky, pan-roast cod fillet. Delicious!
177 calories per serving, if you're counting. [Calories in square brackets]
- 75g chorizo sausage, peeled and diced (feel free to double or triple this, or even more if you're a big fan! Check ingredients for wheat/gluten if cooking gluten free, just in case) 
- 240g cooked chick peas / garbanzos (e.g. one 400g tin, rinsed and drained* - or any cooked beans of your choice) 
- 200g fresh spinach (or you could cheat and use chopped, frozen) 
- 30g dried split red lentils/dried chickpeas/gram flour (optional, to thicken soup, or use cornflour/arrowroot at the end, if desired - see method) 
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled 
- 1 red chilli, deseeded 
- 1 medium onion, peeled (100g) 
- 1 tsp olive oil 
- 2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes 
- 1 chicken (or vegetable) stock cube, or equivalent concentrate that makes up 500ml stock 
- 300ml hot water
- 1/2 tbsp mild/sweet smoked paprika (or more to taste) 
- 1 x 15ml tbsp lemon juice 
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste 
- Optional flat leaf parsley to garnish
(See below for Thermomix method in italics)
Finely chop the garlic and red chilli, and dice the onion. If using fresh spinach, I chop this up too (a long knife on a big board is easiest - you can of course leave it whole if you prefer - although I tend to find this means a higher likelihood of it burning your chin and dripping on you as it hangs from your spoon!!).
If you have a spice grinder, or a food processor that is powerful enough, grind the lentils (or chickpeas) to a flour (chickpea flour is also known as 'gram flour', if you happen to have any kicking around in the cupboard). If not, don't worry as their purpose is to thicken the soup and you can do this if desired at the end before adding the spinach, by using a spoonful or two of cornflour, arrowroot etc., stirred into a little cold water, then adding some to the soup and cooking out until thickened to your liking.
In a large, heavy-based, non-stick pan heat the oil (if you're not counting calories, feel free to add a little more), then add the chorizo and fry until it starts to release it's oil. Add the onion, and cook for another 3 or 4 minutes until softened, then add the garlic and chilli and cook for a further 1 to 2 minutes.
Meanwhile dissolve the stock in the 300ml hot water. Once the chilli and garlic have become fragrant, add the chopped tomatoes and stir in the lentil flour (if using) and paprika, and add the chickpeas, hot stock and lemon juice. Bring to the boil then simmer, partially covered, for 10 minutes. Check the consistency of the soup (at this point, if you haven't used ground lentils/chickpeas, you can thicken with cornflour stirred into a little cold water - it's 36 calories per tbsp), then season to taste (I add 1/2 tsp salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper). Stir in the chopped spinach and cook out for another minute (longer if you've dropped in some 'nuggets' of frozen chopped spinach), then serve. You could scatter with a little chopped flat leaf parsley if desired, for some tasty pretties.
1. First of all, grind the lentils for 1 minute / Speed 10 until milled into flour. Set aside and give the bowl a quick swill.
2. Next, chop the spinach, by dropping it through the lid (ok, maybe 'pushing' is a better word!) onto running blades, at Speed 5. Scoop out with a spatula and set aside and give the bowl another swill and a quick dry.
3. Chop the onion into large chunks. Add the oil to the bowl, and then drop the garlic and chilli onto running blades / Speed 8. Turn down to Speed 4, and drop the onion in. Turn off, scrape down the sides, and add the chorizo to the bowl.
4. Cook Reverse Spoon / 5 minutes / Varoma temperature / Speed 1 / MC off. You may wish to scrape down the sides after 3 minutes or so, if the onions are climbing up the walls.
5. Scrape down, and add in this order, one tin of tomatoes, the ground lentils, crumbled stock cube/paste and smoked paprika, and then the other tin of tomatoes on top. Stir it all in on Reverse Spoon / Speed 2.5 / 10 seconds.
6. Weigh in the 300g hot water, add the tbsp lemon juice, plenty of freshly ground black pepper, the chickpeas, give a quick stir with your spatula to make sure nothing is caught under the blades then cook Reverse Spoon / 10 minutes / 100C / MC on. Once cooked, have a quick taste and add salt if/as desired (I add 1/2 level teaspoon).
7. Add the spinach, giving it a quick stir with the spatula so that it doesn't stick together in a clump, then cook for a further 1 minute / 100C / Reverse Spoon / Speed 2. Serve up, and garnish with a little chopped fresh parsley if desired.
*I prefer to cook my chickpeas in big batches and use from the freezer as and when I need them - cover and microwave 1 minute, stir and repeat to de-frost if you do this