Soup is one of my favourite meals, particularly for lunch. While I love breakfast and dinner, I often find lunch a struggle – it’s not that I’m not hungry, I usually am, it’s just that finding the thing that I actually want is usually hard, which is why I try to bring my lunch most days, rather than wandering aimlessly through the city until something strikes my fancy (as that something is usually less healthy than I would like, but hunger takes hold!)
Enter soup – the easiest of lunchtime meals, warm and hearty and comforting, and requires limited assembly or effort at the workplace! When the weather gets colder, I like nothing better than to cook up a big batch of soup on the weekend, usually Sunday arvo, to eat for lunch during the week – both my husband and I greatly appreciate the pre-cooking! And with the addition of my 9 litre stock pot, the days of overflowing multiple pots are gone (I’ve previously discussed my lack of depth perception and inability to correctly estimate the size of vessel I require, this definitely extends to soup and my frequent forgetfulness of how much the volume will increase once I add liquid …).
I alternate between following specific recipes, and then making it all up based on what I’ve got in the fridge and flavours that I like and that work well together. Having had some rather bland outings in recent months with particular recipes, particularly with quinoa and chard, yesterday I decided to return to my ‘throw it all in a pot with tomato’ flavoured soup, with great success!! I like these types of soups fairly chunky, so that you can identify the different ingredients, but it means it can become a bit stew-like if the liquid evaporates too much, so feel free to add more to suit your style.
The interesting thing about this particular soup was that while it was cooking, my husband noted that it smelled like a supreme pizza – something about the combo of chorizo, mushrooms, capsicum did it – so, I feel that I have created pizza soup!! (Not to be confused in any way with actual pizza, this is a soup 🙂
Ingredients (NB: this is what I had in the fridge/cupboard, so you can substitute whatever you want, including quantities!)
Serves 6 (in pretty decent sized portions, around 500ml each, so could serve more if you have smaller portions)
2 onions, diced finely (I have discovered my wonderful food processor’s onion chopping ability!)
6 cloves garlic, crushed
4 shallots, diced
1 chorizo sausage, cut into little pieces
8 mushrooms, sliced
2 green capsicums, diced
1 tin diced tomatoes
1 tin crushed tomatoes
4 cups veggie stock
Paper bag of cherry tomatoes, halved (from our organic box, so maybe around 15 cherry tomatoes?)
1 tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 cups (ish) of pasta – we had the cute little hat kind, I didn’t really measure it out
Bunch of spinach, shredded with stems removed
Handful of kale (from our garden, it’s super tiny but tasty!)
Handful of fresh basil, finely chopped (from our garden)
1. Put some olive oil in a big pot, heat, then add onions, garlic, shallots, cook for a couple of minutes, stirring frequently.
2. Add chorizo, cook until a bit golden, stirring frequently.
3. Add mushrooms and capsicum, cook for a few minutes until softish, stirring. This is the point where it will smell like pizza, yum!
4. Add cans of tomatoes, stock, half of the basil,salt and pepper, stir, cook for a few minutes.
5. Add chickpeas, cook for a few more minutes.
6. Add pasta, cook for longer than you would think, ie the pasta normally takes 13 minutes, but it took around 25 to be soft enough with all the other ingredients. Cook with the lid on at this stage to keep the liquid from evaporating too much. Stir every few minutes and taste the pasta regularly to ensure the desired consistency.
7. With about 3 minutes to go (ie when pasta is almost done), add the spinach, kale and remaining basil.
8. Serve and enjoy!
Sorry about the blurry pic and lack of action shots throughout – I’m a really messy cook, so the action shots would likely be explosions of food all over the kitchen, far nicer to see the pretty end product!