December 2, 2010
The entire month of November passed by in one instant; one quick blink of my eye. It feels like only a moment ago I turned the page of my planner to November 1st, and now Christmas is in our foreseeable future. In that one instant, that one blink of my eye, we got married, spent the night in a suite at one of Toronto’s swankiest hotels, and then we packed our bags and headed south for 18 days.
I’m not sure how people manage to write intelligently about their wedding days, because all that I have managed to come up with, nearly four weeks after the fact, is that it was awesome. The food was awesome, the music was awesome, the dance party that broke out, led by my kilt-clad grandfather, was awesome. Having everyone we know and love in one room? Awesome. And we have photos to prove it.
Friends much more articulate on the joyous occasion that was our wedding day, hit the nail on the head with these sweet words, inscribed on the inside cover of the beautiful book they gave to us:
Today is not the best day of your life. You haven’t had it yet. The joy of today is that you have chosen the person you will have it with. Again and again.
And then, the honeymoon. Again, awesome. We happily ate and drank our way through Chile, and then did it again in Argentina. Enjoying the cheap wine, delicious steaks and a daily afternoon ice cream cone.
Drunk and happy at O’Fournier Winery
Sweaty and happy on the balcony where Madonna sang Don’t Cry For Me Argentina
As we walked and walked and walked, we walked more than two people have ever walked I swear to god, my mind turned to WHEN WE GET BACK. And it should come as no surprise that most of that thinking was about my kitchen. I was away from my kitchen longer than we were away on our honeymoon. Wedding planning took up so much of our time in the months before November that I was already pining for my kitchen and the days I’d spend shopping at the market, pouring over a recipe, braiding my own bread, rolling my own meat balls, well before our plane departed for Santiago.
And even though it was hot, so hot some afternoons we did little else but sip lemonade in cafe gardens, I was thinking about this soup. It was perched at the top of my must make list, and unsurprisingly we returned to a cold, grey, dreary Toronto. Soup-weather Toronto. Perfect for enjoying steaming bowls of spicy, smoky, slightly sweet soup at home on the couch. Our couch.
Sweet Potato Chickpea Soup with Chorizo
Adapted from Bitchin’ Camero
Makes 4-6 bowls of soup
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more to finish
1 Chorizo sausage, casing removed
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 heaping cups cooked chickpeas (or 2 14oz-15oz cans)
2 small or 1 large sweet potatoes, roughly chopped (enough for 2 heaping cups)
4 cups chicken stock
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch of kale, about 3-4 cups
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 cup Pecornio Romano cheese, shaved or grated
1. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Once hot, add Chorizo and brown, breaking up the sausage with a wooden spoon, about 5 minutes.
2. Add onion and saute until translucent, which should take another 2-3 minutes. Toss in the garlic and cayenne and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute.
3. Add chickpeas, sweet potatoes and stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
4. Remove the pot from heat and, using an immersion blender or potato masher, break up some of the sweet potatoes and chickpeas. You want the soup to stay chunky so don’t go crazy.
5. Return the pot to the burner and add call. Simmer for 10 more minutes.
6. Serve in bowls, drizzled with olive oil and a sprinkling of shaved Pecorino cheese.