I don’t mean all at once obviously, but if you think about it, each year we have to think of more or less 365 things to eat and that is just for supper. Start adding lunches and children’s teas and the number becomes enormous. No wonder many of us resort to the same old favourites evening after evening. Nothing wrong with that at all, indeed I look forward to something tried and tested which I know will please tummy and soul – like seeing an old friend, no disappointing surprises and a good evening all round. That said though, I do try new things, feel almost compelled to. Whether to justify the library of cookbooks, magazines and cuttings I have or inspired by something I have seen in the farm shop, I try to extend my repertoire by at least one new thing a week.
So continuing on my quest for straightforward, delicious everyday things to eat that won’t take hours to make or cost a fortune and are both easy and appealing (hopefully) for all the family, what about chorizo and chickpea stew. I hope it might make your list of regulars and here is why. Using mainly storecupboard ingredients which are transformed into a rich, spicy comforting dish with very little effort on your part. A bit of chopping, open a couple of cans and then let the stovetop perform a little alchemy. What a treat. I have been cooking this for many many years. Of course, as is my wont I have tinkered with the recipe from time to time but this is my favourite version. It is an easy and delicious supper (or lunch) and one that when I serve it, my daughter eyes the pot anxiously for seconds.
It is equally at home as a winter warmer or a sprightly spiced supper for cooler summer evenings. Whatever the weather, whichever month you are in, please give it a go, I have never known it not please.
Chorizo and chickpea stew
Chorizo, cooking sausages, around 150g
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon paprika
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 tin chickpeas, drained
1 glass white wine or dry sherry
1/2 bunch of parsley, chopped
Cut the chorizo into rounds and fry gently in a medium size pan until it renders its oil in which you now fry the onion until soft. Add the garlic and paprika, stir for a minute or two and then add the tomatoes, chickpeas and wine or sherry. Lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. You can serve this is as it is or if you like a slightly thicker sauce, squidge some of the chickpeas against the side of the casserole until they fall apart. Season well with salt, give it another stir and then sprinkle over the parsley. This doesn’t really need anything with it but a sliced crusty baguette works a treat as does a simple green salad. Serves 2 but easily doubled.