This recipe has gotten a little meta since its inception, because I believe an incarnation of it first appeared in Bon Appetit, October 2007; from there, Epicurious posted it as the recipe of the week or some such thing, where the author of Smitten Kitchen picked it up and prepared it in the same month. From her, I picked up the tip on using chorizo instead, but from my own meddling I’ve come up with a vegetarian version I’m pretty happy with. Mine is closer to a stew than a soup, texture-wise, but it’s still spicy, satisfying, and great for a cold winter’s eve. This recipe serves 8, I’m told, and I think it would go nicely with a thick crust of bread.
- 3 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 soy chorizo
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 2 lb. sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into small bite-sized pieces
- 1 lb. white potatoes, ditto
- 6 c. no-chicken or vegetable broth
- a large handful or so fresh spinach
- Heat chorizo in large, heavy pot over medium-high heat; brown, stirring often, about 8 minutes. Remove browned chorizo from pot.
- Add 2 tbsp. olive oil, heating at same temperature. Add onions and garlic to pot, and cook until translucent, stirring often, about 5 minutes.
- Add all potatoes and cook until beginning to soften, stirring often, about 12 minutes.
- Add broth. Bring to boil, scraping up browned bits. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until potatoes are soft, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes.
- Using potato masher, mash some of potatoes in pot.
- Add browned chorizo to soup, and incorporate.
- Stir in spinach and simmer until just wilted, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in remaining 1 tbsp. oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste, if desired.
I modified the recipe not only to make the ingredients vegetarian, but also omitted the oil from the chorizo-browning portion of the recipe and added it in a step later because soy-based meats have a tendency to absorb the oils they are cooked in, and this particular style has enough oil in it already to brown without addition. The 2 tbsp. olive oil come in far more handy in the next step, for the onions and garlic. For a more soup-like consistency, consider using a more firm form of vegetarian sausage, adding 1 tsp. cayenne to the soup, and about 1-2 more cups of broth.