Potato-chorizo soup : patatas a la riojana

Basque Cookbook link to AmazonAlthough some recipes include additives such as green bell peppers or bay leaves, I prefer the simpler version found in my excellent Basque cookbook, The Basque Table by Teresa Barrenechea (many other wonderful recipes from the book are online too!). It is roughly reproduced below. Just six ingredients, and two of those are water and salt!


  • 1kg starchy potatoes such as russets (2.5 pounds)
  • 8oz dry spanish chorizo (spicy is extra-tasty)
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 2 teaspoons pimentón (smoked paprika): hungarian would do, but it's not the same thing
  • sea salt, to taste
  • water.


Remove the casing from the chorizo, and dice the onion. Peel and dcut the potatoes into one-inch pieces, preferably by cutting part-way and then angling the knife so as to break the potato.

Sauté the onion in the olive oil for about five minutes, until it is somewhat translucent. Add the chorizo and cook another minute or so.

Add the potatoes, paprika, and salt. Stir all around for a bit and then cover with water about an inch above the potatoes. Simmer until the potatoes are soft. I like to crush a few against the side of the pot to thicken the soup. Serve with good crusty bread and Spanish red wine.

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