white bean, corn + chorizo soup

Last Sunday my cousin Johnathan and I ventured over to Ballard for brunch at Bastille followed by some vegetable shopping at the Ballard Farmers Market. But in addition to the veggies I also picked up some fresh chorizo. For the past few days I wondered what to do with it. Really wanted to make some type of clam and chorizo dish but I have to confess. Cooking clams, mussels, oysters scare me. I worry about cleaning them properly so to date have yet to enjoy any of them at home. Perhaps this summer I will overcome this ridiculous apprehension. So what to make? The weather, as it often does for me, ruled the day. The sunny skies have been replaced with grey and clouds. Looking in my fridge also provided inspiration. Soup! Besides the chorizo, everything else in this soup was already in my kitchen…so no need for a run to the store. Perfect since I was feeling a little lazy. I did a quick search on the internet for some recipes and found one on Bon Appétit, which called for pureeing a portion of the soup to make it creamy. I wanted a less thick soup, so here is my adapted recipe with some additional ingredients, most notably corn, which brings a nice sweet crunch to the soup. 

White Bean, Corn + Chorizo Soup
serves 6

1 lb. dried cannellini beans
8 cups water
3 tbsp. extra-virigin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, 2 smashed, 2 minced
1 rosemary sprig
1 dried bay leaf
Kosher salt

1 large yellow onion, diced  
1 large carrot, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
2 tsp. fresh thyme, chopped
fresh ground black pepper
6 cups chicken stock
2 chorizo sausages
¾ cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup frozen corn kernels

Place beans in a large pot, filling with enough water to cover beans by 3 inches. Cover and let soak overnight on the counter. 

Drain beans and return to same pot. Add 8 cups of water, 1 tbsp. of the oil, the 2 smashed garlic cloves, rosemary and bay leaf. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer until beans are tender; about 1 hour. Season to taste with salt. 

Discard garlic, rosemary and bay leaf. Drain the beans using a bowl to retain the cooking liquid. Set both aside.

In the large pot, heat the remaining olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onions, carrots, and celery. Saute until the vegetables start to soften; about 10 minutes. Do not brown; reduce heat if necessary. Add garlic, half the thyme; salt and pepper to taste.  Add 2 cups of the bean cooking liquid and the chicken broth to the pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Let cook semi covered for 20 minutes. 

While soup is cooking,  remove sausage from its casing and saute in a skillet over medium heat until cooked; about 5-8 minutes. Transfer sausage to a paper towel lined plate to drain the cooking fat. 

Add beans, chorizo, remaining thyme, cream and corn to the soup. Stir well to incorporate and let cook for 10 minutes. Divide among bowls and serve.  

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