The soup is typically Spanish: simple but satisfying, subtle yet packed with layers of wonderful flavour.
The sweetness of the chestnuts and the salty, spicy nature of the chorizo are perfect bedfellows, and the colour of the soup matches the rich seasonal hues outside.
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 large Spanish onion, diced
1 medium carrot, diced
1 celery stick, thinly sliced
120g mild cooking chorizo, cut into 1cm cubes
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons of finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 small dried red chillies, crushed
2 tomatoes, fresh or tinned, roughly chopped
500g cooked peeled chestnuts (fresh or vacuum-packed), roughly chopped
20 saffron threads, infused in 3-4 tablespoons boiling water
1 litre water
sea salt and black pepper
In a large saucepan heat the oil over a medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, chorizo and a pinch of salt and fry for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until everything caramelizes and turns quite brown. This gives the soup a wonderfully rich colour and taste. Now add the garlic, cumin, thyme and chilli and cook for 1 more minute, followed by the tomato and, after about 2 minutes, the chestnuts. Give everything a good stir, then add the saffron-infused liquid and the water, and simmer for for about 10 minutes.Remove from the heat and mash by hand (with a potato masher) until almost smooth but still with a little bit of texture. Season with salt and pepper.