Monday, 5 March 2012

Gordon Ramsay's Chorizo, butter bean and red onion soup

There are some meals that are best eaten with your eyes shut.  Or at least while reading your Twitter timeline on your phone.  Or if you have decent company at the dinner table, then maybe flattering lighting will be enough to distract you from what's on your plate.  Whatever works for you, I suggest you do it if you try this recipe.

With a flattering Flickr filter it doesn't look so bad
Don't get me wrong, it's very tasty.  It does get boring after about half a bowlful (or maybe I just wasn't in the mood for it) but you just don't really want to look at it while you're eating it.

Although my photography skills leave a lot to be desired (hey, it's not easy finding time to artfully photograph with a rubbish cameraphone when you have to blog every single day), I do appreciate the benefit of flattering lighting and Photoshop.  It's great for hiding things like crows feet and dark circles and grey hairs.  And that the beautifully red chorizo that you lovingly chopped up has now gone all grey and insipid thanks to the paprika leaching out into the broth.  Or that the vibrant red onions, are now equally monochrome and unappealing after being simmered for ten minutes.
My once red chorizo turning grey

The rubbish picture really belies the true mess that was left in my bowl.  Honestly it just looked like nasty grey lumps of insipid gristle.  Kind of how I imagine school dinners to have been before they were Jamie Olivered (although I probably qualified for free school meals, I used to have a packed lunch).

I don't know if it's something I did wrong with the cooking - it's hardly a taxing recipe - or if the picture in Gordon's Fast Food also benefited from flattering lighting and Photoshop.  But honestly, I can't express how manky it looked when I was done with it.  I was hoping for something more warm and red and comforting along the lines of the recipe by the lovely Mr Bridestock that partly inspired this blog.  As I said the other day, if you find a good recipe, stick with it and move on.  There's a lot to be said for not chasing perfection.  Either that or you have to be prepared to kiss a lot of frogs to find your prince.  How many time did Edison fail in his efforts to make a lightbulb?

Anyway I'll stop before I enter into another stream of conscious rambling.  Final thought for the day.  My spaniel really appreciated the leftovers.  Then again, he'll eat anything bar leeks.

Recipe from Gordon Ramsay's Fast Food


  • 225g chorizo, skin removed
  • 3 tbsp olive oil, plus extra to drizzle
  • 2 red onions, peeled & finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled & very finely sliced
  • few thyme sprigs
  • 2 x 420g cans butter beans, drained & rinsed
  • sea salt & black pepper 
  • squeeze lemon juice
  • large handful flat parsley, roughly chopped


  1. Chop chorizo into small bite size pieces. Put kettle on to boil.
  2. Heat olive oil, in heavy based saucepan & add onions, garlic & thyme. Cook, stirring, for 2 mins, then add chorizo. Stir over high heat for a few mins until oil has taken on reddish-golden hue from chorizo.
  3. Tip in beans and pour in just enough boiling water to cover. Bring to a simmer and cook gently for about 10 mins.
  4. Season generously and add squeeze of lemon. Scatter over parsley and ladle into warm bowls to serve.

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