My Stepdad, Von was a share house veteran. His tales of share house living in regional Victoria are, at best, raw. At the end of one lease, he and his housemates put on a party so cordial that the guests burned the entire back fence down.
When not being set fire to, Von’s houses came together over shared meals, and it was throughout these formative share house years that Von crafted and refined a most championed dish—a sausage and gravy-based signature, cooked in a slow pot, served with fury, digested with courage.
When Von moved in with Mum and I years later he brought four things: his hat rack, his barbie mate, a red Alfa Romeo (which I did not fit in, later traded for a tres chic Nissan Pintara) and ‘Sausage Surprise’ – his tried and true share house staple.
I still don’t know exactly what went in Sausage Surprise. Mostly sausage, but it changed depending on what needed to be purged from the fridge that week. It was a solid fallback – when Mum was jack of cooking, when we had nothing else remotely edible in the pantry, Sausage Surprise plugged the hole.
Von recently demanded that we cook Sausage Surprise and feature it on sh.k. We took it board, but decided to change things up a little.
Here’s sh.k shout out to Von’s halcyon cheffery—Chorizo and Bean Sopa de Espana. We substitute ‘uncertain sausage’ with a gourmet Spanish chorizo, gravy mix with a delicious tomatoes broth, ‘sundry miscellany’ with beans and fresh herbs.
There’s nothing surprising about how damn tasty this dish is.
- 750ml of chicken stock (salt reduced)
- 2 Cloves of garlic, minced
- 400g of tinned diced tomatoes
- 200g of borlotti or butter beans
- 200g of kidney beans
- 350g chorizo sausage, sliced diagonally into 1cm pieces
- 1 Red onion, very finely chopped
- 1 Large handful of flat leaf (continental) parsley, very finely chopped
- 1 Tbls of olive oil
- 1 Tsp of dried marjoram (if using fresh add slightly more)
- ½ Tsp of turmeric
- ½ Tsp of cumin
- ½ Tsp of chilli flakes (add more depending on how hot you like it)
- In a pot heat the chicken stock to a simmer.
- In a separate large pot, heat the oil and add the onion, garlic and parsley. Cook on medium heat for approximately 4 minutes until the onions are transparent, but not brown.
- Add all of the spices and cook for a further 1 minute.
- Add the tomatoes, beans and hot stock and bring to the boil. Once boiling, add the chorizo and reduce heat to a low simmer for 15 minutes.
- Season the soup with salt and pepper (if needed, often the stock and chorizo can contain enough salt)
- Serve with a good amount of crusty bread and a sprinkling of fresh parsley.