I recently took a call from a food business that wanted to know if I would take a few samples to cook with. It took all of a millisecond to make that decision.
Orce Serrano Hams are a very special cured meat business based in Orce, Andalucia. But rather than them being Spanish born and bred, the owners behind Orce Serrano Hams are thoroughbred Geordies, just like yours truly. Iain and Gayle did what we all dream of but dare not to do several years back when they packed up from the frozen north and left for foreign shores to follow a little dream.
They are now producing their own amazing Spanish hams such as the famous Serrano, as well as salchichon, pancetta, morcilla, and a full range of chorizo sausages of varying heat. Oh, and they run a nice little Blog full of authentic Spanish recipes. Their food is incredible and as a huge fan of chorizo, their own version is streets ahead of anything that I have tasted. The Orce Fire Chorizo is packed with intense paprika and cayenne heat. Rather that slice it and eat it as a tapas with a cold beer, I thought I would use it in a rustic soup, packed full of garlic, smoked paprika and crunchy cabbage and of course, chorizo sausage.
I want to congratulate Iain and Gayle for doing something that I'm sure most of us only wish we could do. They have taken risks to follow a passion and a dream and by the looks of the reviews I have seen, it is going places. Thanks for the samples and I hope that my soup does their special food justice.
Orce Chorizo and Cabbage Soup
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, sliced thin
3 garlic cloves, sliced
2 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
2 sticks of celery, sliced
4 small chorizo sausages or 1 large (I used hot, any will do), sliced
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 litre chicken or ham stock
1 cabbage, halved, cored and sliced thin
Salt and pepper
1 - Heat the olive oil in a large pan and add the onion. Cook until softened then add the garlic, potatoes, carrots, celery and half of the chorizo. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring.
2 - Stir in the paprika, tomato pureee and red wine vinegar and cook for 1 minute, then pour over the stock. Bring to the boil then simmer and cook for 15 minutes.
3 - Stir in the cabbage then simmer for 10 minutes so that the cabbage still retains some bite. Taste for seasoning.
4 - To finish, fry off the remaining chorizo in a little olive oil until golden and drain. Serve the soup in bowls topped with the crisp chorizo and some crusty bread.