Once Autumn has settled in, I like to be reminded a bit of Summer flavours but I obviously do not feel like eating a salad or a gazpacho soup when the cold rain is drizzling outside.
Many years ago, after I started dating my lovely Irish man, he used to welcome me with a big pot of tomato soup after a long day of work followed by a walk in the rainy and cold autumnal Irish weather. His idea of tomato soup was to use cans of ready made soup and add a tin of red kidney beans and some chunks of chorizo in it. A few minutes on the hob and off you go! The French in me used to make some really quiet 'honhonhon' sounds at the idea of canned soup. The soup wasn't actually so bad and with the time, I brought some improvements to it to make it more homemade and it has now become one of favourite meals when Autumn starts to make itself known.
The ingredients in the soup make us dream of warmer countries and sunshine and it's a really nice feeling to have when things are grey and dull.
I add a big plate of buttered chunky bread to have with the soup. This, a warm blanket and a good book and you are settled!
—Yolène Dabreteau - Crème de Citron
4 to 6
For the soup
g unsalted butter
shallots (roughly chopped)
x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
g red kidney beans (from a tin, drained and rinsed)
Put a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add in the butter. When it has melted, add the chopped shallots and stir frequently for 4 to 5 minutes until they have softened.
Pour in the chopped tomatoes, the chicken stock, the water and stir well. Bring it to the boil, then lower the heat and let it simmer for 30 minutes (covered for the first 15 minutes, uncovered for the remaining 15).
While the tomatoes and stock are simmering, make the parsley oil. Heat up the olive oil in a small frying pan, add the parsley and stir for 3 to 4 minutes. You can blend the ingredients in a small food processor or serve as it is. Pour the parsley oil in a small serving bowl (I kept some aside as it makes extra parsley oil and used it to roast a chicken the following day).
Then, put a frying pan over a high heat and add half a tablespoon of olive oil. When it is hot, add the chorizo and fry it for 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer it with a slotted spoon onto some kitchen paper to absorb some of the fat (you can keep the remaining fat from the pan and use it to roast meat or saute potatoes during the week).
After the soup has been simmering for 30 minutes, you can either blend it for a smooth soup or leave it as it is for a soup with chunky bits of tomatoes. I took the saucepan off the heat and used a hand blender to smooth it a bit and put it back on a low heat.
Add the red kidney beans and the chorizo. Stir well, cover and simmer for another 10 minutes.
Season to your taste with pepper when it has finished cooking.
You can notice here I have not used salt at any stage. I find there is enough salt in the chorizo to season the soup.
Divide the soup between the bowls and drizzle the parsley oil on top.