Make this winter warming soup in advance and reheat when ready to eat for a cosy lunch or supper.
3-4 tbsp sunflower oil, turkey or goose fat
2 medium onions, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 small floury potato, peeled and diced
5 sticks celery, thinly sliced
250g/9oz chorizo, roughly chopped
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 garlic clove, crushed
1.2 litres/2 pints chicken or turkey stock
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/gas 7.
Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based pan over a medium heat. Add the onions, carrot, potato and celery and fry gently for 5-6 minutes until softened.
Stir in the chorizo and fry for 4-5 minutes, allowing the vegetables to absorb the flavours of the chorizo then add the chestnuts, cumin, paprika and garlic and fry for a further minute. Pour in the stock, bring to boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover the pan and simmer for 25-30 minutes until the vegetables are tender.
Remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly then use a stick blender to blend the soup until smooth (alternatively do it in batches in a jug blender). Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper and warm through when ready to serve.
For the cheese straws, roll the puff pastry on a lightly floured work surface to a rectangle of thickness 0.5cm/¼in. Scatter over three-quarters of the parmesan then fold the pastry in half. Roll the pastry out again and cut into strips, 1cm/½in wide.
Twist each strips three or four times to make a spiral, then place them on a baking sheet, leaving space for them to expand during cooking, Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and bake for 10-12 mins, or until the pastry is cooked and the cheese is melted and golden-brown.
Serve the cheese straws with the hot soup.
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