This Paella Soup is inspired by all the wonderful ingredients in Paella, one of my favorite dishes!
There are many variations of Paella, some with just seafood, some with just meat, and some with both. I love it all but the three main ingredients in Paella I like best are Spanish chorizo, seafood and chicken legs. So for this soup I used chorizo, shrimp and chicken tenders. Close enough. After all, this isn’t any sort of authentic recipe, just an soup (stew?) inspired by my love of Paella.
First, a note about Chorizo:
Spanish chorizo is the type of chorizo used in Paella. It’s adds such fantastic flavor to the dish. Generally, Spanish chorizo is a dried, cured meat usually in a casing that can be eaten sliced like salami. Mexican chorizo is completely different so don’t be confused. It’s typically uncooked, sold in casings or fresh like ground beef and is very fatty. My favorite chorizo is Basque chorizo but I have a hard time finding it where I live. If you have a hard time finding Spanish chorizo, try substituting andouille sausage. This time around, I could only find “chorizo” that looked more like Italian sausage at my little market by my apartment. It was still delicious, just a little different. If you use uncooked chorizo you will need to cook it first before adding it to the soup. Whatever kind you use, it’s all good so don’t stress about it too much.
For the rest of the Paella Soup
The rest of the ingredients are simple and easy to find. Chicken, shrimp and veggies. I sautéed onions, celery, red bell peppers and garlic in some olive oil. Used a good flavored chicken stock and a little white wine for the broth. And of course, every Paella has to have peas!
One of the things I love about Paella is the fantastic crusty bottom layer of the rice in a traditional Paella dish. But for soup you really can’t get that texture. Instead of putting the rice in the soup, I added it to the soup bowl separately prior to serving. That way the leftover soup doesn’t get mushy from the rice sitting in it. To get the pretty yellow color I added some saffron to the rice (as well as the soup). Saffron is expensive so if you want your rice yellow but don’t want to use saffron, try a pinch of turmeric. And if you don’t care about your rice being yellowish, don’t worry about it!
This Paella soup recipe is one you can easily experiment with…add whatever protein you like. You can add more vegetables, different seafood – maybe lobster, clams or mussels, or a firm white fish? You could even add beans if you like. But for me, chorizo is a must…and the peas!
- 1 C. cooked Chicken, diced (I used a few chicken tenders)*
- 1 lbs. uncooked Shrimp, shelled and deviened
- 1 C. sliced, Chorizo (I used 3 links)*
- 2 Tbls. olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 lg. stalk celery, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 5 garlic cloves, chopped
- salt & pepper
- ½ tsp. saffron
- ⅔ C. white wine
- 4 C. chicken stock
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ tsp. smoked paprika (or more)
- 1 C. frozen peas, defrosted (I just put them in frozen and heat them up in the soup at the end)
- Chopped cilantro or flat leaf parsley for garnish
- Cooked rice
- In large soup pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions, celery, red bell pepper and garlic (don't burn the garlic). Season with a couple shakes of salt & pepper (to taste). Sauté until soft.
- Add chicken stock, wine, smoked paprika, bay leaf, saffron. Simmer a bit for flavors to combine (I let mine simmer about 10-15 minutes).
- Add cooked chicken, chorizo and shrimp. Continue to siimmer until shrimp is cooked, just a few minutes. Don't overcook shrimp or it will become tough. Add peas and heat through. Adjust seasonings to taste.
- To serve, add a scoop of cooked rice to a soup bowl. Ladle soup over rice. Garnish with some chopped cilantro or flat leaf parsley.
If you use uncooked chorizo, sauté it first to cook it and set it aside or you could cook it with the vegetables. Heck, you could probably cook it with the chicken as well, I just didn't do it that way.