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Hot ‘n’ Spicy Chorizo Soup… and a confession.

As typically happens, tonight’s meal was loosely informed by a few recipes found online, but mostly just completely improvised. My husband loves this about me. Please tell me that you sense the sarcasm. But seriously, I’ve got a great, spicy chorizo and orzo soup rocking this post. Paired with a nice funky Belgian saison? Can’t get much better kids.

Sidebar confession: Remember how I told you that we brewed a sh*t ton of beer for our wedding? Well, when the wedding was over, there was still a fair amount of beer left, despite our guest’s extensive guzzling fun-having. Rather than deal with the beer that night (wasn’t gonna happen), the kegs got shipped back to my parents house.

And they sat there.


For a week.

But somehow it still didn’t seem ok to just dump gallons of beer. So we didn’t… we drove those kegs from New England back to the Midwest where we live now, and thought about what to do next. I’m sure you can guess what happened. We had to at least try them! Much to our astonishment, the beer tasted completely fine. Four out of four kegs. No foul odors, off flavors, or belly aches later. I can safely say this now after we have decimated our double IPA and wheat beers. I actually think the saison had a chance to age and got even better. We took a bit of a sketchy risk but I sure am glad we did.

Anyway! Back to the soup!  This soup has everything: tons of veggies, a few starchy potatoes, al dente orzo and most importantly, artisanal chorizo from our favorite market. Time for another truth bomb: I have never ever ever cooked with chorizo. In fact it was my husband who spied this lovely sausage dangling at the market. Wow, ok, pretend that sentence never happened. Bottom line: a spicy soup sounded like the perfect use for this beautiful meat.

Chorizo and Orzo Soup

1 tbsp olive oil

1 large link of your favorite chorizo, cut in half lengthwise and cut again into half moons

1 onion, diced

3 sprigs of fresh thyme

½ tsp of dried oregano

1 bay leaf

3 cloves of garlic, minced

2 or 3 yukon gold potatoes, cut into ¾ inch hunks of equal size

2 carrots, cut on a bias (‘cause its pretty)

1 green bell pepper, cut in 1 inch hunks

14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes (salt free)

1 quart of chicken broth

2-3 Cups water

3 cups kale, rinsed, de-ribbed, chopped.

1 cup of orzo

Start off with a hot Dutch oven on medium to medium high heat (if you don’t have a Dutch oven, any big soup pot will do). Add a tablespoon of olive oil, chorizo and onion. Sauté for a few minutes, then add thyme sprigs, oregano and bay. I just chuck the whole sprig in and fish them out later, but you could certainly do a little herb bundle with some twine. I am too lazy for that. Add the carrots and potatoes and sauté for a few more minutes. Add the garlic and peppers and sauté for a minute more, stirring frequently. Add tomatoes, chicken broth, kale and water (I cheated and used pre-cleaned, chopped kale in a bag – way easy!). Feel free to add a bit of salt to taste, you probably won’t need much, I used a pinch. Since I used a spicy chorizo, I didn’t feel the need to add any pepper or extra kick. Let the soup come to a boil then turn down to low and cover, simmering until the potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes. In the last fifteen minutes, start the water for cooking the orzo. Add 1 cup of orzo to boiling water and cook until al dente (about 9 minutes). I keep this separate so it doesn’t get soggy in the soup.

Eat and be happy. Seriously, the hubs ate two bowls in about ten minutes. YUM!

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