Thursday, March 24, 2011

Chickpea, Butternut Squash and Sausage Soup

It is cold and rainy in San Francisco.  I know that statement might deserve a big-fat raspberry from my Northwest, Midwest and Eastern seaboard friends but hey - for us it's miserable weather.
There I was with 2 quarts of celery root stock in my fridge, a desire to cook some chickpeas (not from a can - although I won't dis' you if you use canned but you're missing out on so much!  Who am I kidding? I'm definitely going to judge you if you don't cook your own chickpeas at least once.), a need use up a couple of sweet Italian sausage and a couple of chorizo sausages, a little butternut squash and some of the sauteed kale, onion and roasted lemon dish I made a few days ago. Oh - and leeks.

Back to the chickpeas.  Just as I was very pleasantly surprised when I made the celery root stock, the pot liquor from the first time I cooked chickpeas was a delicious revelation! I generally soak mine overnight and then simmer them with a couple of bay leaves until they are tender - not completely mushy - add a little salt to the water, stir then turn off the heat and leave the cover on until they cool down. I started with two cups (dried) chickpeas.  Those I didn't use for the soup will be roasted for a snack.

I sliced each of the chorizo sausages in half length-wise and cut half-coins and browned those.  Then I crumbled up and browned the two sweet Italian sausage links.  I removed them from the pan, drained off all but a little bit of the oil and threw about 2 cups of chopped leaks in the pan with a pinch of salt.  I cooked those on medium-low until translucent then added a (very) generous pinch of red pepper flakes and added-back the sausage and chorizo. I ran the leeks around the pot with a pair of tongs to de-glaze the sausage/chorizo fond. I added about two cups diced butternut squash, about 4 cups of the cooked chickpeas then I added the two quarts of celery root stock and the (about) 1-2 quarts of pot liquor from cooking the chickpeas and simmered it for about 30-ish minutes. I added about 2 cups of the previously cooked kale which had onions, garlic and chopped up roasted Meyer lemon and simmered just a few more minutes.

It was (and is) delicious, hearty and warming.

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