Bean, vegetable and chorizo soup

As Melbourne winter begins to nibble, I love the idea of stews and soups simmering away on the stove, sitting by the fire with a throw and a good book and of course sharing comforting meals with family and friends.

This bean, vegetable and chorizo soup is an old family favorite and one that my mother cooked almost weekly.  She would occasionally vary the vegetables she used depending on what she had on hand.  Chorizo was a must, as we all loved the sweet smoky heat that it stirs up.

Perfect with some fresh crusty bread, feta cheese and olives.

Bean, vegetable and chorizo soup

400 grams white beans (butter or cannellini)
1 onion, finely diced
1 clove garlic, finely diced
1 bay leaf
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 zucchini, diced
2 celery stalk, chopped
1 potato, peeled and diced
1 x 400gram can of diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
½ teaspoon smoked paprika (optional)
1 chorizo, chopped into chunks

Soak the beans in cold water overnight.

In a large pot saute the onion and garlic in a little olive oil or until soft.  Drain the beans and add to the pot and pour in about 2 litres of water. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar and bay leaf and stir well.   Add the vegetables and bring to the boil.  Simmer for ½ hour and add the chorizo and paprika.  Continue cooking for a further ½ hour or until beans are cooked.

Season to taste and add the parsley.

Serve hot.