Monday, October 17, 2011

Spanish Vegetable Soup

Yikes! I am rather behind. Here's one I made back during vegan week. The original recipe was called "Spanish Bean Soup" and came from Moosewood Restaurant New Classics. The original ingredient list was as follows:
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Salt
  • Olive oil
  • Ground fennel
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Bay leaves
  • Soy sausage
  • Potatoes
  • Vegetable stock
  • kale, collards, chard, or cabbage
  • celery
  • cannelli beans
  • saffron
  • salt & pepper
                                         My version, however, had the following ingredient list:
  • garlic
  • onion
  • olive oil
  • red pepper
  • paprika
  • hot paprika
  • soy sausage
  • macaroni
  • vegetable stock
  • dry sherry
  • tomato paste
  • red wine
  • garlic powder
  • carrots
  • kale
  • Swiss chard
  • cannellini beans
  • tomatoes
  • saffron
  • salt & pepper
This post really gives insight into how I approach a recipe--with irreverence. Sometimes this works for me, other times it doesn't. In this case, I think my overhaul worked in my favor. Let's see how it goes.

Spanish Vegetable Soup (makes about 2.5 quarts)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 C onions, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 carrots, coarsely chopped
  • 1 package soy sausage (about 1 C, crumbled)
  • paprika
  • hot paprika
  • 1/4 C dry sherry 
  • 8 C vegetable stock
  • 1/2 C dry red wine
  • 1 28-oz can diced tomatoes
  • 2 heaping Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 C kale, torn into small pieces
  • 2 C Swiss chard, stemmed (save the stems!), torn into small pieces
  • 1 can cannelli beans, drained
  • 1-2 C cooked macaroni, or other small pasta
  • garlic powder
  • pinch saffron
  • juice 1 lemon
  • salt & pepper
1. In a large soup pot/Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium low heat. Add the onions and garlic and stir frequently until the onions are softened and slightly translucent.
2. Add the soy sausage, saute for a few more minutes. Add the carrots, and a 1/2 tsp each of paprika, hot paprika, and a sprinkle of crushed red pepper. Saute on medium heat for about 5 mins, stirring very frequently to avoid sticking.
3. Deglaze the pan with the sherry. Add vegetable stock, wine, tomatoes, tomato paste, & greens. Bring to a boil.
4. Taste, add additional paprika, red pepper, and salt and pepper. Reduce heat, and simmer for 30 mins. 
5. Add garlic powder. Continue to adjust seasonings. Add the beans, pasta, saffron and lemon juice. Cook for 10 more mins and serve. 

Kitchen Notes: I used Trader Joe's brand soy chorizo. This was adequate, but I prefer Frieda's brand soy chorizo. I recommend saving the stems from the Swiss chard for a future recipe that focuses on the stems of Swiss chard. When I started making this recipe from the original, there were limitations regarding depth of flavor, I kept trying to achieve this with the tomato paste, wine, and tomatoes with satisfactory results. Feel free to mix/modify the types of greens, but chard gives it a good earthiness.

Verdict? I make a lot of soup. I make a lot of soup with greens, but typically not chard. This gives the soup an earthy flavor. This soup is very hearty, very nutritious. The broth is surprisingly light, but be assured, this soup is a meal, not an appetizer. A terrific transitional soup between early fall and the dead of winter. 

An Aside: My Farmer's Market sells the prettiest carrots. I used a white one, orange one, and purple one in the soup. Here they are, above. And peeled, below:


  1. Nice tinkering there with ingredients. I was left wondering why this is named Spanish Vegetable Soup as opposed to any other country/culture. I see you've doubled up on the paprika in yours which Hungarians are renowned for using in their cooking. Maybe yours is a Hungarian Vegetable Soup.  ;•)

  2. Maybe I should change it to Hungarian vegetable soup! :) I grew up with Portuguese food which uses a lot of paprika, now I'm very heavy handed with the pretty crimson spice! Thanks for the comment!