Shaun Rankin spruces up a simple potato soup with scallops and chorizo to make it into a smart starter.
500g/1lb 2oz baking potato (preferably Marfona), peeled, cut into 1cm/½in pieces
750ml/1pint 10fl oz water
3 tbsp olive oil
3 banana shallots, peeled, sliced
3 garlic cloves, peeled, chopped
750ml/1pint 10fl oz chicken stock
110ml/4fl oz milk
4 fresh thyme sprigs, leaves only
salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 small chorizo sausages, skin removed, sliced
½ lemon, juice only
200g/7oz baby spinach leaves
leftover roast chicken skin, sliced, to serve
Place the chopped potatoes into a bowl, cover with the water and set aside to soak.
Meanwhile, heat one tablespoon of the oil in a frying pan over medium heat and fry the shallots and half of the chopped garlic for 2-3 minutes, or until softened.
Add the chopped potato and soaking water to the pan and bring to the boil. Add the chicken stock and return the mixture to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.
Pour in the milk, then transfer the mixture to a food processor and blend until smooth.
Return the blended soup to the saucepan and stir in the remaining garlic and half of the thyme. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Set aside to cool slightly.
Meanwhile, heat one tablespoon of the remaining oil in a frying pan over medium heat and fry the chorizo slices for 30 seconds-1 minute on each side, or until golden-brown on both sides.
Season the scallops, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Heat the remaining olive oil in a separate large frying pan and fry the scallops for 1-2 minutes on each side, or until golden-brown on both sides and just cooked through. Add the lemon juice, to taste.
To serve, ladle the soup into each of 4 serving bowls. Carefully float 4 pieces of scallop onto each portion of soupl, top with some chorizo slices and a handful of spinach leaves. Sprinkle over the sliced chicken skin, the remaining thyme leaves and drizzle over any chorizo oil from the frying pan used to cook the chorizo.
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