Is that the time? Another Quick Winter Dinner

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!

Meatball Soup

Ingredients:
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)

Method
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! 😉

24 thoughts on “Is that the time? Another Quick Winter Dinner

    • Well, you can eat it almost immediately tonight! Is gooood. Gotta find some vegetarian equivalent of chorizo for the veggies. Something spicy and quick and munchy. Tofu fried in chili and garlic maybe? Might work…

      • Oh, it might! Facon wouldn’t have the same effect (although good in carbonara, should you ever need to feed some veggies) but tofu could work. HOORAH.

        • I think you’d want to fry the tofu until crispy first, then add the chili and garlic – otherwise they would go crispy too and it’s not a good look. A splash of something to augment the flavour might be in order too – Worstershire sauce, perhaps.

  1. I bulk cook so one dish lasts several nights, with variations. It’s the only way for me. But I will be trying your soup when the current chilli con carne is finished. Thanks for sharing.

    • You’re welcome Sue. If you’re cooking for one, you could just use one chorizo, a small tin of beans and one tin of tomato. That would do you for dinner and lunch the next day, probably. I do like this, but you don’t want too many leftovers as it is hard to vary.

      • My bh doesn’t object to the same dish a couple of nights in a row, and I freeze a couple of serves for “ron”. If I’m making the effort to cook, it might as well do a few meals. Besides, I love leftovers to take to work, especially when it’s as cold as it is now.

    • Excellent idea! I was just saying on FB that calling it ‘Meatball Soup’ is never going to get me on Masterchef… Actually, it’s good for winter, but it would be fine alfresco with some crusty bread in the summertime too.

    • Minimum 5, Max 13 degrees C today. Yes. Winter.
      But enough of the weather! I thought you were kidding about the Cauliflower cake, but that sounds great! Cauliflowers are plentiful and cheap at the moment and popular in this house. Will definitely try!

  2. If you can find Italian pancetta down there, try your dish with pancetta. I love easy stuff too and that’s why I can cook everyday and enjoy delicious meals.

    • Yes, pancetta would be nice! Hadn’t thought of that. We can get most Italian things here as Australia has had a lot of Italian migrants over the years. Sausage and pulses and tomatoes is a very Italian sort of dish, so I’m sure Italian meats would go very nicely!

  3. This not only looks hearty, it looks like the perfect meal for a cold, rainy day! I’ve been searching for the perfect dish that contains different sorts of beans, and I think this may be it. And it looks easy! These days, I’m trying to find easy and quick recipes to make. The good Lord knows I’m not a fan of my teeny weeny kitchen and if I can satisfy the natives and still manage to make something tasty, then I’m all for it! Besides, who can turn their back on chorizo? Not me! Thanks for sharing, Imelda! 🙂

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