Since I am still in awe of the tender, meaty texture that results from slowly cooking squid, I decided to further explore this cooking method. Not only is the texture perfectly toothsome, but the requisite slow cooking doesn’t actually take long at all. For squid, “slow cooking” translates to about 30-40 minutes. Thus, this is truthfully a relatively quick cooking soup that can easily be served as a simple meal on its own, or it can be beefed up a bit with a side salad, or a little bit of orzo pasta mixed in.
This hearty squid soup is flavored with fresh chorizo, aromatics, smoked paprika, chickpeas, and tomatoes. All you need is a little bit of stock or water, the squid, and about 30 minutes, and you have a unique dining experience at the ready. I used fresh, Mexican chorizo, which can be found at the butcher counters of most Whole Foods. Cured, Spanish chorizo would have been a bit more authentic with the flavor profile, but I preferred the texture of the ground meat in the soup. Plus I think the wider distribution of fresh, casing-free sausage allows for it to flavor the soup more pervasively. Spanish chorizo could be substituted; simply dice it and brown it in step one of the recipe below. Spicy Italian chicken sausage could also be used, if you want a lower fat version. Simply buy it fresh from the butcher counter, and remove it from the casings. I recently saw chicken chorizo at the market, which would make a perfect lower fat substitute, but I don’t know that it is widely available yet.
This stew is so simple, yet full of flavor. Sometimes seafood doesn’t fare well as a leftover, but I ate this for a few days afterward, and it was tasty until the end. One night, I added a bit of cooked orzo and some feta cheese on top, and it was a great combination. If you aren’t adding anything to it, chopped parsley as a garnish is a must. Even though it’s a tablespoon or so, the fresh verdant flavor truly elevates the dish.
Squid, Chorizo, and Chickpea Stew
- 1 1/2 pounds squid (mixture of tubes and tentacles; tubes sliced into about 1 inch pieces)
- About 1/2-2/3 pound fresh chorizo (removed from casings, if not purchased in bulk-I bought it in links so I used a little more than 1/2 pound)
- Drizzle of olive oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 bay leaves
- Red pepper flakes, to taste
- Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
- 1-28 oz. can of whole peeled tomatoes (preferably San Marzano)
- About 2 cups low sodium chicken stock or water
- 1-14 oz. can of chick peas, drained and rinsed
- Fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish
- In a large soup pot over medium heat, add a tiny bit of oil and the chorizo. With a wooden spoon or wooden spatula, break up the chorizo in the pan. Saute for about 8-10 minutes, until it looks cooked through.
- Add the diced onion and garlic. Cook for about 5-8 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onion has softened. Season with a bit of salt and black pepper, going light on the salt as the sausage is already salty.
- Add the smoked paprika, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Stir to combine, and add the bay leaves and canned tomatoes, with all of the juices. Using the wooden spoon (or a potato masher), break up the tomatoes as they simmer over medium heat for about 10 minutes.
- Add the chick peas, the squid, and enough liquid to cover. The mixture have enough liquid that it can be easily stirred, but not watery. Reduce the heat to a low simmer, and cover the pot. Cook for about 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Taste for seasoning, and serve with parsley as a garnish.
May 6, 2016