It’s June, which in Australia means winter and in the Romance Writers of Australia means the 50k in 30 days challenge. (For the non-writers, that means trying to write 50, 000 words in a month.)
I’m not doing the full 50k – I’m only(!) trying for 40k.
But this means that other things – minor things, like shopping and cooking – get shoved down the priority list. At times like these, having some reliable store-cupboard-and-freezer ‘recipes’ (if something this easy can be called a recipe) up your sleeve is very handy.
Here, for your delectation (and speedy hunger satisfaction) is one of our favourites. It is known, in our house, as meatball soup, although it doesn’t contain any actual meatballs.
The quantities given here serve the three of us for our evening meal. I’m sure you could stretch it to four if you served some bread with it or had some cheese and crackers before or after, or if you didn’t like it quite as much as we do!
2 x Chorizo sausages from the deli (the ones like salami)*
1 large tin of four-bean mix*
2 large tins of chopped tomatoes (or crushed, if you like)
Put a large saucepan on to heat, over a medium to high heat.
Cut the sausages in half and then in quarters, lengthwise, then into small chunks
Put the sausage into a dry pan and cook, stirring occasionally. You don’t need any oil, as the fat will render out of your sausage. You want this, as this carries all the spiciness that flavours the soup.
While this is cooking, drain and rinse the beans until the water runs clear.
When the fat has rendered and the sausage looks crispy, add the drained beans and stir to coat in the oil.
Add the tins of tomatoes and stir. Heat on a medium heat, stirring occasionally, until hot. (Too low and it will take too long and you are probably hungry. Too high and the beans will burn on the bottom. It adds a bit of dark colour to the finished soup and a not-unpleasant smokey flavour, but should probably be avoided!)
That’s it. Seriously!
I hope you like it!
*I used to use softer chorizo, ones more like gourmet bbq sausages. This is actually where the soup got its name, as the skin shrinks and the bits of sausage go a bit round and meatball-y. If you have a more delicate palate, you might like to try this version, as the deli chorizo version IS spicy. If you do that, freeze the sausages before cutting up, as it is very hard to cut an uncooked sausage into pieces! You can cook the bits from frozen. Also, I tend to use more sausages if using fresh ones and some oil in the pan, as the ones I use are reduced-fat ones. I suspect you could also replace the chorizo with any spicy sausage. Just make sure you use one with good flavour, as it is what flavours the dish, and with a course texture, as you want the fat to render out but the pieces to hold together.
*When I can get them, I like to use a mix of tinned organic beans. We have recently discovered that we love black beans, so I put them in the mix. But four-bean mix is fine and is very quick and easy!
You could, of course, make this with home-cooked beans and home-stewed tomatoes. I imagine it would be lovely like that and closer to its peasant roots, but it wouldn’t be quick any more!