Chip would attest to the fact that I absolutely hate throwing away food. Growing up I always hear my grandma say “you shouldn’t throw away food; food will hold a grudge on you if you do.” My grandma was a very wise woman. She knew what she was talking about.
Do you have days when you open your fridge and you think “hmm I better use this soon or it will go bad.”? At least one day a week, am I right? The problem with buying fresh herbs is that you always end up with a whole bunch you don’t need. Recipes almost always just ask for a tablespoon of this and a teaspoon of that, why then do they sell you twenty times more than you need? I simply cannot throw away a perfectly good bunch of cilantro. I love cilantro, Chip loves cilantro. Cilantro is our friend. There must be something we can do with it? So I started researching for recipes which require a lot of cilantro. Like a lot of cilantro, like maybe a whole bunch of cilantro. I like typing cilantro, did you notice?
So the cilantro last week ended up on another dish — last week. During my research I came across a lot of recipes and this one really peak my interest. The only reason we didn’t do it at the time was because the plantain (a key ingredient in this recipe) was not available at Harris Teeter. Do you know what’s funny though? To create this dish we now have a whole new bunch of cilantro we need to use up — again! It’s a never ending cycle – our relationship with the cilantro.
Chip loved this soup. It is hearty and full of flavor. The sweetness of the plantains and the saltiness of the chorizo complemented each other well. We had freshly baked double cheese semolina bread with it and it was perfect. What else can I add except “garnish it with cilantro!” :)
Plantain and Chorizo Soup
2 tbs. Olive Oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 small carrots, peeled and finely chopped
2 small celery ribs, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 1/2 cups chicken broth
2 green plantains, peeled and thinly sliced
2 – 4 (about 11 oz.) Chorizo sausages
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped, reserve some for garnish
2 bay leaves
1 tsp ground cumin
Salt & Pepper, to taste
In a large sauce pot on medium-high heat, add in some of the olive oil. Then add the sliced Chorizo sausage and sauté those until they are slightly brown. With a slotted spoon, remove and set aside.
In the same pot, add onions, carrots and celery. Sauté those for about 6 minutes just to soften them a little. During the last minute, add in the minced garlic.
Add the chicken broth, plantains, 1/2 cup cilantro, bay leaves, cumin and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and gently simmer for about 40 minutes, until the plantains are very tender.
With a hand blender, blend the soup to your desired consistency. But make sure you don’t blend it all the way through. You do want some pieces of vegetables in the soup.
Add in the chorizo sausage and the other 1/2 cup cilantro. Season with with salt & pepper. Garnish with cilantro.
Here are some helpful hints from the originator of the recipe:
If you don’t have a hand mixer, you can transfer half of the soup into your blender. Just make sure you put it on a very low setting and pulse the soup, then later increase the speed and blend until smooth. If you use the lid to the blender, it will create a vacuum effect that creates a heat explosion. And you run the risk of the lid flying across the kitchen and splattering yourself and your kitchen with scalding hot soup. Not a good idea! :) So either place the lid on the blender at an angle so air can freely escape or just place a towel over the top.
If your soup ends up being a little too thick, just add a little bit more chicken broth or water to loosen it up.
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