Wednesday, 6 February 2019

What We Ate Wednesday--Pearl Barley and "Chorizo" Soup

Hello lovelies! Inspiration for mealtimes can come from the most unlikely places. When i see something that sparks my fancy I become obsessed (Obsessed, I tell you!) until we have eaten it.

I picked up the January copy of that free magazine that Tesco gives out because they have started including vegan recipes and I like to see how many times the word vegan is mentioned. Quite a lot, as it happens. Their vegan line of food Wicked Kitchen is expanding every month. Anyway, I saw this recipe (which was NOT one of the vegan ones) and the picture looked so delicious I could not stop thinking about it. Literally. I carried the picture around with me and mooned over it until I could work out how to veganise it.

The most obvious choice was to just substitute some vegan chorizo sausage for the meat one because that was literally the only thing that wasn't vegan. Linda McCartney makes a vegan and gluten free chorizo sausage, but we ate it once and felt it was overpriced and not all that great. Plus it is highly processed and over packaged. I knew I could make it better.

I started researching chorizo spices and found this recipe on YUP IT'S VEGAN and decided to copy the spices. Then I decided to add mushrooms for a meaty bite.

The result was amazing. Delicious, spicy, savoury goodness in a bowl or rather 8 bowls as it made a tonne of soup. Enough to feed Coxey's Army as my dear old history-teaching mum always says. I think it would freeze really well. All you'd need to do is just freeze the soup and add in the greens fresh when you heat it up. Make sense?

A note to those people who are more gluten sensitive than me. I am lucky in that it only seems to be wheat that affects me and gives me the "I've swallowed a basketball" look. I can still tolerate lower gluten grains like barley. If you cannot then swap the barley for brown rice and you can still enjoy this wonderful soup.

Pearl Barley and "Chorizo" Soup

First make your spice mix:

1 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. chilli powder (I used a Mexican spice blend) 
2 tsp dried thyme
2 TB dried oregano
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground cloves
2 TB smoked paprika
1.5 tsp ground black pepper 
1 tsp ground coriander
1.5 TB ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
You will have some left. I have been sprinkling it on roast potatoes which has been delicious.

The soup:
2 onions, diced small
2 carrots, diced small
6 button mushrooms, roughly chopped
3 TB chorizo spice mix (see above)
3/4 cup pearl barley or brown rice
2 400g tins of chopped tomatoes
6 cups hot vegetable stock
2 TB tamari or soy sauce
1 tsp yeast extract (optional) We use Tesco brand Marmite
1-2 TB red wine vinegar
200g kale, de-stemmed and torn into tiny bits

1. In your biggest pot, cook the onion and carrot in a splash of oil or water until softened.  
2. Add the mushrooms and the spices and stir to coat. Add the tamari/soy sauce and yeast extract if using.
3. Add the barley or rice if gluten free, the tomatoes and the hot vegetables stock. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 25-30 mins until your barley or rice is done.
4. Add the vinegar (add 1 TB, taste and see if you want more tang then add the other TB) and the greens and cook until the greens are wilted and reduced. Taste for salt. I didn't think it needed any as there so many spices.
Serve and eat!

This was a hug in a bowl. There was a complex smoky flavour from the spice mix with a little tang from the vinegar. Thank you chef Jamie Oliver for this recipe in Tesco magazine.

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