Chick pea, lentil and chorizo soup
Efforts are being made to extend Bennie’s involvement with affairs in the kitchen beyond eating and doing the dishes.
This seems to be having beneficial and laudable effects.
He certainly seems to more at one with breakfasts of yogurt, fresh fruit and muesli now that the latter is largely a product of his own hands and effort.
When let off the brekkie leash, he gets his own toast and jam (“No butter!” he proclaims).
He has a way with eggs.
And he’s an expert at instant noodles.
Bennie has developed a deep fondness for the Iraqi red lentil soup shortbat adas that has become a routine fixture in our home – he certainly prefers it to the various Indian-style pulse stews and soups I regularly knock together.
So I’m hoping to combine something of that vibe with a soup that also involves the kid-friendly tantalisation of fried chorizo and one that will also hopefully nudge him back towards the fondness for chick peas he once possessed.
I’ve soaked a cup of chick peas overnight and have cooked them prior to us starting the soup proper.
As I’m seeking a sort-of South American or even Middle Eastern feel through lemon juice and cumin, we’ll be using capsicum rather than carrot.
We’re using good quality Istra chorizo, but it’s soft so Bennie struggles a bit in finding the right cutting motion to slice it into nice, even discs.
He does much better with the celery, once I show him what’s required in terms of fineness of dicing.
Still, for a parent it’s nerve-racking watching a child – even one as generally capable and always smart as this one – handling very sharp blades.
He also oversees the roasting and mortar-and-pestle grinding of a 1/4 teaspoon of cumin seeds.
And he really, really digs what is the key moment, the most headily intoxicating part of making this dish and many like it – when the diced vegetables hit the hot, fragrant oil that is a mixture of olive oil and grease from the sausage.
It’s in this phase of the cooking process that my boy shows that he may have just the right stuff to make a good home cook: As he’s stirring the vegetable/oil/sausage mixture, he simply and intuitively assumes “the cook’s prerogative” – without asking his father’s permission – and nonchalantly gobs a couple of pieces of fried chorizo.
The resultant soup is perfectly fine, but I am somewhat disappointed – it simply doesn’t have the depth or richness of texture and flavour for which I have been hoping.
Oh man, he loves it to pieces.
Now we’re cooking!
Later in the night he asks me: “Dad, am I going to take over the blog when you’re gone?”