Friday, September 12, 2008

Cabbage Chickpea & Chorizo Soup

I really, really dislike the gym (I’m not going to say “hate” because Santa may be listening). I don’t like being in a room filled with other people while all of you are on machines going nowhere. I don’t like the classes either. I don’t like exercise for exercise’s sake. I don’t like that I have to pay my hard earned moolahs for all that either. There are not many things I really, really dislike, but this is one of them.

C and my mom, on the other side of the spectrum, love the gym. They are all about sweat, and “pushing it”, and trainers, and endorphins, and other things that I don’t understand. I love you two...but spare me your endorphins!

Mom: You should really go to the gym sweetie.

Me: But going to the gym makes me sad.

Mom: That’s impossible! Exercise gives you endorphins and endorphins make you happy! (My mother = Legally Blond fan)

Hmmm. If that’s the case, then I wonder what is that euphoria I feel when I slip a piece of perfectly seasoned roasted bone marrow in my mouth? Does it have a fancy chemical name too? :)

Well, the endorphin gang eventually proved stronger than my weak tush and I have bowed down to mother/husband pressure and bought a pair of trainers. With a vague promise of some physical activity. And a couple of days ago I did what I said I would never do again...I stepped a trainer'd foot (they feel weird and puffy!) in a gym and got on one of those machines that go nowhere.

What does this have to do with cabbage, chickpeas, and chorizo? Nothing really. Except they make me happy...and happy people will (hopefully) not complain too much about going to the gym ;)

Cabbage Chickpea & Chorizo Soup
  • Olive oil
  • 1 medium-large white onion, sliced into half-moons
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 pieces chorizo Bilbao (about 200 grams), sliced
  • 1/4 cup (or a good fat glug) of white wine
  • 1 400-gram can chopped or crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon pimenton de la vera (Spanish smoked paprika)
  • Generous pinch of dried oregano
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 400-gram can chickpeas, drained
  • 1 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 – 1 whole cabbage (whole cabbage about 600-650 grams), whole cabbage cut into eighths, or half cabbage cut into 4 wedges*
  • Optional: Some ham bits (a small handful if you’ve got them around)
  • Sea salt only if needed

- In a nice and roomy soup pot, heat a couple of glugs of olive oil. Add the garlic and onions and sauté until onions are soft.
- Add chorizo, ham bits (if you’ve got them) and fry until the chorizo is cooked and the nice orange oil is all over the place. When it’s all sizzling, deglaze the pan with white wine and scrape up all the stuck bits.
- Add tomatoes, pimenton, oregano, and black pepper, and simmer until thick and pulpy.
- Add chickpeas, give it a few stirs, and then add stock and water. Simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until all the flavours blend. Taste and adjust seasoning.
- When it’s just about done, add cabbage, cover pot, and cook until cabbage is soft (about 15-20 minutes), checking occasionally to make sure it doesn’t scorch. Taste again and adjust seasoning if needed.

*Use a whole cabbage only if you are a fervent cabbage-lover like I am. The whole cabbage really takes over the pot and the soup becomes very chunky, but this is how I like it. I figure a half cabbage or so will do for a soupier soup.

This soup was inspired by a recipe I found in Donna Hay magazine issue #38 for Cabbage and Chickpea Soup. I added the chorizo and changed the procedure...and this was the result! It’s now in our “regular dishes” notebook (a furry purple one given to me by my godchild) in between the chilli and my mom’s tortilla de patata. This is a robust soup that makes a good meal in itself, maybe with some nice bread (the type you buy from the French guy at your market) . It is particularly good when it’s raining (as it has been this week). Or if you are in need of coddling after a sweaty gym-episode that left you with a blister on you right ankle.

So, did I feel those much-lauded endorphins in the gym? Let’s just say I felt more toe-curling satisfaction from this soup than from being on the machine. But, I do admit I need more action (the moving around type) in my life. I just hope to find a less gym-involving action before I run through all the songs on my iPod.


Snobound said...

This soup looks absolutely wonderful, and as soon as the weather cools off I'll certainly be trying it. Right now, a hot, steamy bowl of soup doesn't sound so nice when it's still 90 degrees outside! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

The kind of comforting soup I could eat now (it's cold, grey and raining)! Really mouthwatering!



Manggy said...

It kinda reminds me of Pochero... Please pass the rice, yum! ;) The thing I like most about going to the gym is that it gives me a little more leeway to eat all the naughty things I want (annnd they are a looooot). My (unsolicited) advice to you is to simply not care about all the other people (nobody is really looking at anybody else, except for the guys who are cruising). If it's a matter of a machine going nowhere, how about bicycling around? :) With extra money, you can buy a more posh gym experience, but good gyms for not that much money are out there :) Good luck and I hope those endorphins kick in :)

Ling said...

Argh, I get the same sort of hassle from the hubby too... I probably feel pretty much the same as you about going to the gym, but I think it's because I'm more of an outdoor person (who is currently swamped with work and has no time for outdoorsy stuff!).

I think this soup is one for the weekend. Have got most of the ingredients, and it helps that the hubby is a chickpea fan! :D Thanks!

Lori said...

Been following your blog for a few weeks and loved this post. I kind of feel the same way about the gym these days, but exercise is actually my field of work. Even the advocates go through the ups and downs of exercise. :)

Soup sounds great!

ChichaJo said...

Hi Snobound! I know what you mean! Although it’s rainy now (thank goodness...soup in comfort!), most of the time it’s hot so we hardly get to whip out the soup bowl...or we do so with A/C!

Hi Rosa! It’s really warming on a rainy grey day :)

Hi Manggy! Yes! I still haven’t got to making pochero yet (although the hubby asks for it) so maybe this is all leading to it :) I don’t really mind if other people are people-watching, I just don’t like all of us generating sweat in the enclosed space of a gym. As for biking, my husband actually goes mountain biking, but that’s a bit too, um, challenging for me. But I’d love to go trekking or something...somewhere outdoors and pretty with trees and maybe bunnies, where I can take a break with a good book :) What a tall order! Maybe I can devise a walking and shopping workout around the city...hmmmm...Or maybe a dance-and-cookathon! ;)

Hi Ling! I know exactly what you mean! I’d rather be out doing something...unfortunately I live in the city and it’s quite hot and muggy (or rainy and muggy), and yes, the swamped with work thing too! Hope you like the soup!

Hi Lori! Glad you enjoyed the post :) Ok, now I don’t feel so bad :) I think I just have to figure out some sort of physical activity that is more “me” salsa-bread-baking or power-stiletto-walking ;)

[eatingclub] vancouver || js said...

Lovely soup.

I'm with you about the gym. It's very boring, but I have to do it if I want to eat a lot of stuff! So I guess you can consider it sort of "kitchen prepwork."

Patricia Scarpin said...

Oh, my friend, I don't like going to the gym either. But I need to, otherwise my clothes won't fit me anymore.
I'm lucky there's a gym room in the building I live in now. I just go there, have my 30-45 minutes, and in 30 seconds I'm back home. :)

This soup looks delicious and very hearty!

magpie said...

I hate the gym too... But I love ExerciseTV OnDemand from Comcast! They have a really good Cardio Yoga video (free). I don't like to exercise except for yoga and walking. I do like to go for long walks throughout the day.

katrina said...

I'm not a big fan of cabbage, but I love everything else in that bowl. It reminds me of fabada or sopa de lentejas (this one being my fave), except with chick peas.

As for the gym...UGH!!! F has been badgering me almost daily to return. And, yes, I KNOW I'm wasting money by being a member and not going, and I KNOW I've gained too much weight, but I just DON'T. ENJOY. IT! Sigh...every day I say, "I'll go tomorrow." Wonder when tomorrow will come? ;-)

Giff said...

this looks great. want to try it. funny post too :)

Bea said...

I tried the gym several times, and can safely say that I loathe it.

It then occurred to me: why should I pay money to get around or to have everything convenient, and then pay again to lose extra calories? What if I walked more, chucked some appliances and do things the harder way, and worked more in the garden?

I felt similarly ridiculous being on a machine designed to move and nothing more (okay lang if it produced koryente for a generator, right?)... Hassle.

ChichaJo said...

Hi JS! “Kitchen prepwork” that makes more sense to me, heehee :)

Hi Patricia! I go to the gym in my mom’s building so it’s nearby and free, hehe :) But I still want to find something outside the gym that’ll get me moving...

Hi Magpie! A long walk outside sounds better to me :)

Hi Katrina! I love fabada too, and lentejas :) I guess my love for legumes shows in the stuff I make. But I love cabbage weirdly obsessed with it! Katrina we have to find something to do outside the gym. Why don’t we go exploring our neighbourhood on foot? :)

Hi Giff! Thanks! :)

Hi Bea! I agree with you 100% and it’s stuff like you’ve described that I want to start doing. In fact, I was really inspired by your walking and exploring the city on foot (with a map...remember? :)) and I want to try something like that soon!

Pia said...

What a wonderful blog! I love it!
While I was reading your profile I thought I was reading about myself; and after reading you post about the gym, I was convince it was me. The recipes are fabulous, can't wait to try the soup.

Erin said...

I am right there with you. I have been able to convince myself to do a walk/run deal instead of just walking the dog. Only problem is, he is becoming faster than me and it's hard to keep up.

Soup looks great, it would definitely keep me happy.

Marvin said...

I'm with you, Joey. If I had a choice between roasted bone marrow and running on a treadmill, I'd go with the bone marrow.

You could also tell your mom and hubby that you burn plenty of calories in the kitchen with all the chopping, stirring, mixing that goes on in there;)

Mae said...

I totally agree about the 'gym' thing. I've just recently joined too on a provisional 'one month' membership. Just in case i decide to quit it and lose paying out the whole 12 months! As i did in the past.

I hate it and it's the only time i would wear those horrible trainers that makes my feet look so enormous. I'm size 3 [36 european] so go figure.

But, it's the only way i can keep on eating cupcakes, macarons and other naughty and self indulging food items. Gone are the days when i eat and eat and eat some more and never put on weight..!

Cabbage, chickpea and chorizo sounds like a match made in heaven. It looks so good too.

I think i've just gained another pound just by looking at the photo!!! ;)

Peabody said...

Great flavors you've got going on in that soup.

Ling said...

Made the soup and the caramelised choc crepes this weekend. Thanks to you, we are a household of two very happy piggies :D

Helen said...

The combination of cabbage and chorizo makes me happy too! I like the spicy sausage with any type of greens really, kale being a favourite. This is the kind of warm comforting meal I crave when the colder weather sets in.

Zita said...

Hi Joey.

I've been out of the loop for a while now... and might still be in the near future (pop in my blog for info on this)! The photo reminded me of pochero! By the way, have you asked your Lola about her pancit molo recipe? Love to know how it went and do, send me a copy of her recipe. Keep in touch.
What is your camera? I think I need an upgrade.

Pilar - Lechuza said...

Hi! this cabbage chickpea & chorizo soup is a "light" version of the galician(northwestern Spain) "cocido de repollo" that we use to eat in winter time. I'm happy you enjoy eating our tipe of soups.

Gattina said...

oh Jo, can't give you any encouragement as I am the "hate (gym)" gang... (so agree with you on not doing it, hehee...)
But I love this soup!!! The weather getter cooler, feel like having a big bowl right now!

Jude said...

This is going to be awesome for cold months up ahead. I won't be looking forward to the weather but at least I can look forward to warm bowls of soup.

Marketman said...

Joey, I am with you on this. I despise public gyms. So many years ago I got a mini gym at some huge sale and it sits in a corner of our guestroom... but at least I have used it at least 50 times a year for the past 7 years, or 50 pesos per use, amortized... Can you imagine me ranting at a public gym? The last time I went to a hotel gym in Cebu, the trainers kept egging me on to do more, walk more, lift more... I finally just looked at one of them and said "say one more thing to me and I will use you as my weights..." heehee. I'm kidding, of course. But I did think it. :)

Valentina said...

I love chorizo. And the idea of having them with cabbage has really made me curious. I have not tried it yet.

Irene said...

There must be some strange telepathy going around because I have one can of chickpeas hanging out in my pantry, and this soup seems the perfect thing to use it in. Your description of the sizzling garlic, onions and chorizo made my stomach growl. My mom makes a similar type of soup, but she cuts up the cabbage... it REALLY takes over the soup then, but I love it! By the way, I hate the gym and all its sweaty smells also. Thanks for sharing this timely recipe!

-annabanana- said...

This dish reminds Manggy of Pochero and it actually reminds me of Cocido. Haha...

Dhanggit said...

hmmm absolutely gorgeous! i'll try this when winter comes :-)

christine said...

Yummy soup!!! So my type! As for exercise, strangely enough I do love it and am all too familiar with those endorphins. I just wish we had more accessible (ie nearer to home)trails to walk/run in so I wouldn't have to rely on treadmills and elliptical machines. This is one of the things I really look foward to in Canada. But until then, I'm glad I'm happy wiht the spin classes, and retro dance classes and have no qualms about sweating it out in a public gym. Lord knows I need it! :) And I need some of that comfort soup too!

ChichaJo said...

Hi Pia! Thanks for your really nice comment! I’m glad you’re enjoying my blog and you are welcome to come over as often as you like! :)

Hi Erin! Walking the dog sounds better than walking on a treadmill :)

Hi Marvin! Bone marrow all the way! And you are so right...hmmm, I’ll have to devise some kitchen-work out...

Hi Mae! I so know what you mean about trainers!!! I wanted to cry in the Nike store while my mom and C oohed and aahed about the shoes all I could think of was how my feet looked like Shaquille O'Neal’s! Hay!

Hi Peabody! I love the combination :)

Hi Ling! Glad you enjoyed the dishes (from this happy piggy ;))!!!

Hi Helen! Spicy sausage and greens are such a delicious combination!

Hi Zita! Congratulations! Have yet to get my grandma’s recipe...I’ll drop you a line when I do :) My camera is actually an old hand-me-down from my dad...a Fuji Finepix S1 Pro (with Nikon lens).

Hi Pia! I love this type of soup...and am a big fan of Spanish cocido-type soups and stews!

Hi Gattina! Siigh...I will find something else to do that is more interesting...meanwhile it’s back to the gym I go!

Hi Jude! Hope you enjoy it!

Hi MM! I go to the gym now at my mom’s place but I really, really want to find something else to do...unfortunately it’s not like I can do 5 rounds of tango with Antonio Banderas or trekking on the fjords at the snap of my fingers! Siiigh...I used to be so inactive in the gym that one of the trainers actually did a double take when, by some weird impulse, I started running at full tilt on the treadmill...he actually said, “What are you doing???” Hahaha!

Hi Valentina! I feel the combination is really yummy...try it! :)

Hi Irene! What great timing! :) I’ll try cutting up the cabbage next time...sound good!

Hi Annabanana! It reminds me of both now! :)

Hi Dhanggit! Hope you like it :)

Hi Nens! I’ll make it for you some time! I too look forward to nature walks! Hey, do you want to trek in La Mesa one of the days when C and his gang bike? It’s supposed to be really nice! It’s a different part from where we went before...

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veron said...

love this soup sounds so yummy. Love your reference to Legally blonde. :D!

Midge said...

I agree with Manggy: it does look like pochero! (Soooo comforting and yummy...)

I just started going to the gym, too; I don't really like it. (I'm willing to take a bet that the trainer and I will soon come to blows regarding chocolate.) However, it's a necessary evil. *sigh*

ChichaJo said...

Hi Veron! My mom really quotes that line, no joke...she loves that movie!

Hi Midge! I might start walking around our neighbourhood with a friend who lives nearby...just to get out you know?

Paul Syjuco said...

chorizo = happiness. bacon too.

IMHO the most cost effective way to fitness is finding a sport/activity you actually like. the gym can get repetitive and boring and is not for everyone. there's something out there for you.

Tartelette said...

You can put chorizo in anything and I will be happy and skip the gym!! I have just printed out the soup recipe and can't wait for a rainy day...looks like today might be it!!

ChichaJo said...

Hi Paul! I agree with you wholeheartedly on chorizo and bacon equalling happiness :) Also on finding a physical activity you like over the gym...unfortunately, sports do not like me back so I've hard to sever ties with all of them. I do however like dancing :) So maybe that'll do...

Hi Helene! I love chorizo too and add it in so many things! Hope you like it :)

katiez said...

Yes, this would make me happy!
I have found a compromise to the gym - I can walk (very fast) on the treadmill or ride the bike...while reading trash novels.... Nothing works for the machines, tho...

ChichaJo said...

Hi Katiez! Hehe :) I really on my music to distract me...until I can find some other way to be active...Oh, and the treadmill is the only machine I use...I don't think I could handle any of the others!

Caviar and Codfish said...

You know, there's too many people in the world (or at least in my little world) that love going to the gym. Not me, though sometimes I have to pretend it's fun so Jim (his name, I never freakin' noticed before, is a homonym!) isn't always asking me how much fun I had working out.

Your dislike of all things gym is a breath of fresh, lazy air! ;)

ChichaJo said...

Hi Robin! Lots of fresh lazy air over here! I feel like a hamster every time I’m at the gym...if I’ve got to be moving around I’d rather be salsa-ing with Mr. Banderas (I wish!) or swimming in a river wild and spearing some lunch in the process (yeah...touch luck I live in the city)! C is much better behaved now than before when he used to bellow “pump it up!” when we were on our way to the gym...

ravisingh said...

Great recipes, I forgot about these foods, thanks for the recipes.

Anonymous said...

I just made this for lunch, and am very pleased with the result. So yummy!

ChichaJo said...

Glad to hear you enjoyed it Anon! :)