Basque Soup of Corn, Tomatoes and Chorizo

This soup, from the Basque region of northern Spain, is perfect for late summer when most of the ingredients are available fresh from the garden or local market.

bins of Roma tomatoes for sale at Santa Barbara Market

Roma tomatoes for sale at local market

Here are some of the late summer garden ingredients: fresh corn on the cob, yellow onion, garlic, small potatoes, celery and Roma tomatoes.
chorizo soup ingredients

Prep everything ahead of time!
chorizo soup ingredients chopped

chorizo & corn & tomato soup ingredients prepped

NOTE: cutting corn off the cob – first cut the end off the cob so that it sits flat in a shallow bowl, then hold the corn upright and with a sharp knife cut kernels from the cobs. Two cobs of corn equals a cup or two of kernels.

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 8 oz. Spanish dried chorizo, cut into thin slices (as this is a Spanish recipe this should be Spanish paprika chorizo. Apparently this is very different from Mexican chorizo, but as I’ve never met a chorizo I didn’t like, any chorizo is fine, as long as it’s the dried version!)
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 or 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped or mashed
  • 1 stick of celery, sliced
  • 1/4 bulb of fennel, chopped (optional)
  • 1 cup (or more) of corn kernels
  • 3 small potatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp smoked Spanish paprika
  • 1/4 tsp curry powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne powder
  • 3 or 4 Roma tomatoes, chopped. (these should be very ripe – if you can’t find ripe ones then use a 14 oz can of diced tomatoes)
  • one bay leaf
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1/4 cup of wine (in a perfect world, a northern Spanish white; in my somewhat imperfect world I used Marcus James Chardonney)
  • salt and pepper to taste (I use Chicken-in-a-Mug for salt, it adds a tad more flavour than plain salt)
  • parsley minced

NOTE: We made a French Basque Fisherman’s version of this soup in my French Cooking class where we added codfish – this would also work in this Spanish version. The entire menu of the  ‘Food and Wine from the Aquitaine Region of France’ class.

1. Heat butter and olive oil in a deep saucepan.
2. Add one half the chorizo slices and fry for a few minutes. When I started, this looked like way too much oil to me, but by the time I’d added all the vegetables it was barely enough.
frying the chorizo in butter and olive oil 3. Add all the remaining vegetables (except tomatoes) and sauté for about 6 minutes. Then add the paprika, curry, and cayenne and sauté for a few minutes more.
add the vegetables 4. Add the rest of the chorizo slices, tomatoes, water, wine, bay leaf and salt and pepper.
add tomatoes, bay leaf and salt and pepper 5. The final touch is a sprinkling of chopped parsley on top.
chorizo soup as served 6. Serve with a crusty bread. I have to admit here that I never managed to get it together enough to buy the bread, but on the other hand there was still the chardonney (minus 1/4 cup for the soup) and this was a perfect accompaniment for the soup. ¡Salud!

More on Spain and its fantastic foods.

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