Broad Bean and Potato Soup

So, regular readers of this blog (and I thank you!) will know that here in Andalucía we tend not to waste much when it comes to food. All the unsual bits get used from the meat we eat, and even our broad beans shells, when they´re young and tender, get used in tortillas, scrambled eggs and cooked with jamon.

Another Andalucían dish using broad beans is called Cazulea de Habas which translates as a broad bean stew. As ever, I asked around for recipes and this time I tended to get pretty much the same replies from everyone.  An exceedingly simple and humble dish. Well, a little dull if I´m being truly honest, but that is just my opinion. I asked Big Man if he was sure he wanted me to make it, as it had been his idea in the first place. Well, he said, maybe you can give it a little Chica Andaluza touch to make it more exciting. So I did.

It´s still a simple and humble dish, but with some nice flavours going on and more filling than its ancestor. I also have some suggestions for making it your own, so here goes.

Ingredients to serve 4

  • 500g of thinly sliced tender broad bean shells (save the beautiful beans for something more glamorous)
  • One medium potato per person, peeled and cut into rough 2cm chunks (this is not included in the original recipe)
  • One medium onion finely chopped
  • A large spring of fresh mint and a bay leaf
  • Water
  • Pinch of saffron or half a teaspoon of turmeric (here they use colouring…eek!)
  • ½ teaspoon of sweet pimentón
  • ½ teaspoon of hot pimentón (optional, not in the original recipe, but I used it)
  • 3 fat cloves of garlic peeled and halved lengthways
  • About 10 peeled, raw almonds
  • A large slice of day old bread (something like sourdough or ciabatta)
  • Olive oil for shallow frying
  • Seasoning

Put the bean shells, onion, mint and bay leaf in a pot and cover well with water. Boil until the shells are really tender (this can take about 30 minutes, so be patient). About 20 minutes into the cooking add the potato. Meanwhile fry the garlic and almonds until browned, put into a blender jug. Now fry the slice of bread on both sides until browned and also add to the blender jug. Add the saffron and pimentón and a large ladleful of the cooking water from the beans. Blend (I use a stick blender) until you have a smooth sauce. Add to the beans and season. I found it needed quite a lot of salt.

Now, you´re done! However, you could serve it with a softly poached egg on top or some pieces of grilled chorizo or morcilla (blood pudding), although it will obviously no longer be a vegetarian dish.

It´s a simple dish, but a lovely starter using seasonal vegetables or with a few additions could be a hearty main dish for two.

Big Man approved the changes, and we agreed that the Chica Andaluza version was much more tasty than the original!


48 thoughts on “Broad Bean and Potato Soup

  1. Love the simple and humble dishes here, like patatas a lo pobre! This bean and potato soup looks really good. Gawd, you always manage to remind me how much I love Spanish platos,

  2. Simple, but wonderful, especially with a few additions, as you suggest. I was just thinking some chorizo would go well on top when I reached your paragraph about adding it! I think I’d double the sweet pimenton and leave out the hot, but that’s just my taste. I’ll try it, as we still have a lot of broad beans to eat, even after freezing some!

    1. Yes, here it´s not typical to add the hot flavours but the sweet is good (and I see you use it a lot where you are). It´s that broad bean time of year!

  3. Inundated with food photos on the blogs this weekend. I’d put it down to the wet chilly weather, but not where you’re living, huh? Looks scrumptious.

  4. This is bound to be a great soup, your garden is just churning out those beans! I love how you use everything! and if there is anything left over i am sure the chooks appreciate it! Wonderful work.. c

  5. Your soup looks fantastic, Tanya, and sounds like something out of the Old Bartolini Recipe book. Nothing was ever wasted and, if you didin’t know what to do with something, through it in a pot and make soup with it. I have to ask ZIa to see if they used broad beans in soup. I remember Grandpa loved them but I don’t remember much more than that. If we didn’t use them in soup, maybe it’s time we started. 😉

    1. That’s: ” … if you DIDN’T know what to do with something, THROW it in a pot …” Sheesh! I need one of Celi’s daiquiris! 🙂

    2. I think a lot of countries in Mediterranean Europe cooked liked this probably because of the poverty! It´s not the most exciting recipe in the world, but it´s pretty typical…

  6. That sounds so wonderful, Tanya…It’s really cool that you can take a traditional dish and change it up so that a native like the Big Man likes it more than the original.
    No potatoes? Seriously?

  7. What a lovely soup! Spring here can be very cool and this would make a delicious spring meal. Mot to mention, I love soup. 🙂

  8. You know, ALL good traditions start SOMEwhere…when word gets out of how this soup’s been Chica’ed, it may eventually become the standard! (I’m guessing Big Man would agree!) Nicely done Tanya. (And I agree with what others have said…sometimes the best-tasting soup is the plainest looking – and vice versa!)

    1. Wonderful soup, I will have to make it sometime, eating it with a poached or fried egg on top & bread YUM! 🙂 Spanish food is so delicious yet can be simple the taste of the “Majado” (the mash or blend of almonds, fried bread, and garlic) with the Pimenton makes anything DELICIOUS, thank you for sharing 🙂

  9. My mother-in-law used to make a green bean and potato soup with oregano that I always enjoyed. I like the sound of your chica soup.

  10. Simple and humble is so often the best – few things make me feel more satisfied and comfortable than chunky soups or stews – I know I’d love this, and I’d be all for adding the poached egg on top… yum!

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