Updated: Feb 28
We've cooked the original (non-vegan) version of this soup for more years than we'd care to remember and it's been an absolute winter favourite - flavourful and filling. We've recently modified it to make it vegan by replacing the chorizo of the original with smoked paprika, and we're pleased to say that it's just as delicious as ever!
Olive oil, a very generous gloop (about 4 tbsp)
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 celery stick, finely sliced
1 carrot, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp smoked paprika
Fresh thyme leaves, about 1.5 tsp
2 small dried chillies, crushed
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
500g cooked, peeled chestnuts (we use the vacuum packed ones), coarsely chopped
Good pinch (about 20) saffron threads, infused in a couple of tablespoons of boiling water
750 ml of water
Salt and black pepper to taste
Heat the oil in a large saucepan, then add the onions, celery and carrot, and a pinch of salt, and cook on a medium heat for about 20 minutes until brown.
Add the garlic, cumin, thyme, chilli and paprika and cook for a further few minutes.
Add the tomatoes and stir through, then add the chestnuts, and mix everything together.
Add the saffron infused liquid and all the water. Stir well, bring to a simmer and cook gently for 10 to 15 minutes stirring occasionally to make sure it doesn't stick. Add a little more water if necessary.
Remove from the heat and pulse for a few times in a food processor. You're aiming for a coarse and lumpy texture rather than a smooth puree.
Add salt and pepper to taste. Return to the pan to heat through and serve with crusty bread.
Tastes even better when made the day before!