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Having grown up in Miami, I never fully understood why people loved to eat certain things during different seasons. I guess this makes sense since it’s always warm in Miami – and having a light and fresh ceviche any time of year is perfect! I’m now in my fifth year in D.C. and the weather is definitely not the same as Miami. During the winter, I can now appreciate why people crave hearty stews or delicious soups that warm you up during the winter. D.C. is just starting to get a little chilly at the moment, so it’s time to bring out my favorite Le Creuset and make all sorts of soups for the week, especially ones that are light given the rich foods that come with the holidays. This Latin Minestrone has a delicious and savory broth, and is packed with vegetables, protein, and flavor! The trick here is to cook down some of the dried, cured chorizo in olive oil, and then add the vegetables into the pot where they are covered with the chorizo-infused oil (similar to here). Adding some Latin flare to this meal is the yuca, also known as cassava. Yuca is a root vegetable that’s very popular in South America and the Caribbean. People can fry them, bake them, mash them, boil them, stick them in a stew – any way you look at it, they’re pretty delicious! In this case, yuca is the perfect vegetable to add to the stew because it absorbs the flavor and broth like no other vegetable I’ve seen, and it retains its shape while remaining tender once it’s cooked through. I’ve seen yuca in several grocery stores in D.C., especially the ones that are well stocked like Whole Foods. But if you can’t find it, you can always replace the yuca with diced butternut squash or potatoes. This soup is easy, healthy, and packed with goodness – perfect for the winter days we have ahead of us! I love to serve this with slices of toasted baguette for a complete meal!
Adapted from Barefoot Contessa Foolproof.Print
Minestrone Soup with Chorizo and Yuca
A savory and delicious minestrone soup that is flavored with diced chorizo, thyme, and tons of vegetables that will warm you up!
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour
- Yield: 6 servings
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 2 ounces of dried cured chorizo, diced
- ¾ cup of yellow onion, diced
- 1 cup of carrots, diced
- 1 cup of celery, diced
- 1 cup of yuca, diced
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon of fresh thyme, chopped
- 14 oz can of chopped or crushed tomatoes
- 5 cups of unsalted chicken stock
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon of salt
- ¾ teaspoon of pepper
- 1 (15 oz) can cannellini beans
- 1 cup of a small pasta such as ditalini or pastina, cooked
- Slices of toasted baguette for serving (optional)
- In a large pot or dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Once the oil is hot (about 2-3 minutes), add the diced chorizo and stir for 1-2 minutes until the chorizo turns a dark red color and the oil has turned slightly red.
- Add the onions, carrots, celery, yuca, garlic, and thyme to the pot with chorizo and cook for about 7-8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the tomatoes, chicken stock, bay leaf, salt, and pepper, and bring the soup to a boil. Once at a boil, simmer uncovered for about 30 minutes. At this point, the vegetables should be tender to the bite.
- Add the beans and cooked pasta and simmer for 5 more minutes. Taste for salt and add more if needed. Remove the bay leaf and serve with slices of toasted baguette.
- If using salted chicken stock, use only ½ tablespoon of salt instead of the full tablespoon.
- Yuca is a root vegetable that has a thick brown skin, you can use a vegetable peeler or a good knife to cut off the skin. If you slice the yuca lengthwise, you’ll see a hard string in there – remove that and discard it.