by Fiona Sims from The Boat Cookbook: Real Food for Hungry Sailors (Bloomsbury)
Chorizo is a sailor’s best friend. It keeps for ages, it’s widely available, and a little goes a long way, adding depth of flavor to everything. There are so many variations of this soupy stew that you can play around with it endlessly, grabbing whatever is available. Instead of chickpeas, use cannellini or haricot beans – and you don’t even need the carrots and celery, it’s just more interesting with them. If you don’t want fish, toast a slice of sourdough, rub it with a halved clove of garlic and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, then place it in the bottom of your soup bowl.
1 onion, peeled and chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 sticks celery, washed and chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
1 bay leaf
1 tsp fresh (or ½ tsp dried) thyme
1 chorizo about 100g, sliced
1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
1 x 400g tin chickpeas, drained
600g cod or pollock fillets, skinned and cut into chunks
salt and pepper
Extra virgin olive oil
In a large saucepan, soften the onion, garlic, carrots, and celery in the olive oil for 5 minutes, stirring every now and again to stop them catching. Add the bay leaf, thyme, and sliced chorizo, and heat through until the oil from the chorizo starts to run. Add the tomatoes, drained chickpeas, and cup of water. Bring to a boil, cover with a lid, lower the temperature, and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft. Just before the end of cooking, season the fish fillets and add them on top.
Replace the lid and cook until done, about 5 minutes, before serving with extra virgin olive oil drizzled over the top.