Broad Bean and Potato Soup

19 May

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!

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48 Responses to “Broad Bean and Potato Soup”

  1. Michi May 19, 2012 at 14:10 #

    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. chaiselongue1 May 19, 2012 at 14:15 #

    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!

    • Chica Andaluza May 19, 2012 at 16:37 #

      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. Florence May 19, 2012 at 14:27 #

    Looks great. Like your suggestions for the additions.
    Florence x

  4. Mad Dog May 19, 2012 at 15:07 #

    It sounds wonderful – especially with hot pimentón and chorizo!

    • Chica Andaluza May 19, 2012 at 16:40 #

      Yes, I think the additions really make it something special!

  5. restlessjo May 19, 2012 at 15:21 #

    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.

    • Chica Andaluza May 19, 2012 at 16:42 #

      Well, it has turned a bit grey here, but summer is definitely on its way!

  6. Just A Smidgen May 19, 2012 at 15:27 #

    You can always “Chica” up a recipe! I would serve mine with a nice soft egg on top:)

    • Chica Andaluza May 19, 2012 at 16:43 #

      That´s what we did the other evening…softly poached eggs from our hens…perfect!

  7. cookinginsens May 19, 2012 at 16:17 #

    Your food always looks and sounds so good!

    • Chica Andaluza May 19, 2012 at 16:43 #

      Thank you so very much…that means a lot from a Queen of cooking like you!

  8. Food,Photography & France May 19, 2012 at 17:35 #

    It’s one of those dishes that don’t look great, but which taste marvellous. Nice recipe.

    • Chica Andaluza May 19, 2012 at 17:42 #

      Too true (like a lot of dishes from here)..not pretty, but very tasty!

  9. ceciliag May 19, 2012 at 17:56 #

    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

    • Chica Andaluza May 20, 2012 at 09:31 #

      It´s a very simple soup but with such fresh and young beans, it does taste good! And yes, our chickies love all the veggie trimmings 🙂

  10. Michelle May 20, 2012 at 03:54 #

    Waste not, want not.

  11. ChgoJohn May 20, 2012 at 05:52 #

    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. 😉

    • ChgoJohn May 20, 2012 at 05:54 #

      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! 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza May 20, 2012 at 09:30 #

      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…

  12. Tandy May 20, 2012 at 09:25 #

    I’ve read this before breakfast and now I’m starving! It sounds delicious 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza May 20, 2012 at 09:37 #

      Thanks Tandy, it´s a proper “peasant” dish, nothing sophisticated but the same technique could be sued with any vegetable for a tasty soup!

  13. rsmacaalay May 20, 2012 at 10:37 #

    This looks so healty!

  14. Promenade Claire May 20, 2012 at 11:05 #

    It may be simple and humble but hey – broad beans AND garlic and chilli. You know that gets my vote. Yours, humbly Claire

  15. gardenfreshtomatoes May 20, 2012 at 14:03 #

    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?

    • Chica Andaluza May 21, 2012 at 14:44 #

      I know, no potatoes in the original….what were they thinking of?!

  16. Karista May 20, 2012 at 17:41 #

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

    • Chica Andaluza May 21, 2012 at 15:17 #

      Soup does seem to be popular with most people all year round!

  17. spree May 20, 2012 at 20:29 #

    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!)

  18. bitsandbreadcrumbs May 20, 2012 at 20:42 #

    What great color! There’s nothing I don’t love about the flavors of this soup!

    • Nathan May 21, 2012 at 07:35 #

      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 🙂

      • Chica Andaluza May 21, 2012 at 15:31 #

        You´re so right, tha majado changes everything and can be used in so many dishes!

    • Chica Andaluza May 21, 2012 at 15:18 #

      The flavours were lovely, simple but good!

  19. Karen May 21, 2012 at 12:04 #

    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.

  20. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide May 22, 2012 at 01:03 #

    I love how this is hearty, but still screams spring.

    • Chica Andaluza May 22, 2012 at 08:54 #

      I think it´s those lovely Spring broad beans that do it!

  21. foodblogandthedog May 22, 2012 at 11:43 #

    Oooh love this one too! Almonds and saffron get me every time! Saving this….

  22. Charles May 22, 2012 at 23:48 #

    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!

    • Chica Andaluza May 23, 2012 at 12:59 #

      The egg (which we had too) was the icing on the cake…so to speak!

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