I'm a big fan of soups for lunch and often can be found making a huge pot on the weekend to freeze in individual sized containers, all ready to be thawed and taken for lunch when I work on weekdays. When I first made this soup it was good, but Kevin and I agreed that it was missing something. The next time I made it I replaced the water with home made vegetable stock, which elevated the flavor from just 'good' to 'give me more!'. Making your own veggie stock is not only easy but economical, and in this case it also helps you use up those dark green parts of the leeks that you may otherwise throw away.
Chorizo sausage adds some wonderful smoky spice to this soup as well. When we lived on the Sunshine Coast it was easy to find fresh chorizo that I could slip out of the casings and cook to add to chili, soups, and more but now that we live in the Fraser Valley I'm having a hard time sourcing some out. After a lot of looking around I found a sliced, dried chorizo at Save On Foods and added that to the soup. If you can't find chorizo don't worry too much-you can substitute another kind of sausage or even just use more bacon. If you use a fresh, spicy sausage I think it would be good to get them out of the casings and fry up, then transfer to paper towel after you do the bacon and then use the same pan for the veggies. If you find a dried sausage, just add it when chorizo is listed in the recipe.
5 bacon strips, sliced into small pieces
2 leeks, white and green parts only, washed well and chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped small
3/4 cup butternut squash, chopped to 1/2 inch dice (or substitute another carrot)
3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
2 tsp dried marjoram
2 tbsp tomato paste
5 cups vegetable stock
125 grams (or more if you wish) dried chorizo sausage, diced (optional-if you can't find it, substitute a spicy sausage or even more bacon)
2 cups cooked white beans
1 bay leaf
fresh cracked pepper
Italian parsley, chopped
In a large soup pot, saute up your bacon over medium heat until crispy. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate and set aside. Drain off the fat, leaving about a tablespoon or two in the pot. Add the leeks, carrots, squash, and garlic, sauteing over medium heat and stirring to keep them from burning. Turn down the heat if you need to, but you want to cook the veggies until they are softened. Add the tomato paste and continue to stir and saute for another two minutes or so. Slowly pour in the stock, stirring to bring up all the little bits from the bottom of the pot, and then add the marjoram, pepper, beans, chorizo, and bay leaf. Bring the soup to a boil before turning the heat down and allowing it all to simmer for about 30 minutes. Taste and add salt, if you need to-I often use much less that what is called for in recipes, and the bacon and sausage add some as well. Stir in a handful of Italian parsley and serve.
Makes four servings