I thought I'd share a nice, simple recipe with you. No unmentionable parts or rodents included. Just familiar old chickpeas and sausage. It's not very pretty, but it's a great mid-winter bowl of heartiness.
The New York Times and adapted it to work for me (I didn't have raw chickpeas, or the time to cook them, and all we had was some German weisswurst in the freezer), but it's the simplicity of this soup that makes it so great. It'll adapt to whatever wine you happen to have floating around on a Tuesday night. Our version, with a lighter sausage, lots of rosemary, a hint of mustard and a little goat cheese on top, went well with a Sauvignon Blanc.
This bottle was a Dave-pick and good value for the $12.95 it cost us. It's got those tell-tale New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc things about it: asparagus or pea shoots, and grass mingling with some crisp citrusiness, all topped off with a gooseberry overtone. Light and zingy.
You could change up this soup with some chorizo, sundried tomatoes, ditch the mustard, add some black olives, and pair it with a red wine. Maybe an Italian Sangiovese? Or throw in a bit of chicken, sweet potato and tarragon, and try it with a heartier Chardonnay. Bacon and mushrooms would work with a Pinot Noir.
Chickpea Soup with Sausage
-adapted from The New York Times
1 onion, finely diced
1 carrot (large, or two smaller), diced
2 celery sticks, diced
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp dijon
2 garlic cloves, minced
a pat of butter
4 cups of water
2 cans of chickpeas, drained
2 sausages - whatever you like - sliced
salt and pepper to taste
-sautèe the vegetables in the pat of butter with the rosemary until they are wilted and starting to look transluscent
-add the water and sausage and simmer until the meat is cooked through
-add the chickpeas and continue to simmer until the legumes are warmed
-serve as is, or with a dollop of sour cream or goat's cheese on top