Spanish pumpkin & bean soup
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Unusual & delicious with an interesting addition of diced pears and a 'picada', a flavorful paste made of garlic, almonds and bread.
1 cup dried chick peas (garbanzo beans)
2 qt. water
For the picada:
1/2 cup olive oil
10 blanched almonds, toasted
1 slice coarse country-style bread, cut into finger-sized strips
1 clove garlic
2 TB wine vinegar
1 onion, diced
1 TB sweet paprika
2 tomatoes, peeled, seeded, diced
pinch saffron threads steeped in 1/4 cup hot water or chicken stock
1/2 lb green beans, cut into 2" piece
8 oz (1-1/2 cups) diced pumpkin
3 firm pears peeled,cored,cut into chunks
salt & freshly ground pepper
In a bowl combine the chick-peas with water to cover and let soak in the refrigerator overnight. Drain and rinse well.
Place the chick peas in large saucepan and add the water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer, partially covered, until tender, about an hour.
While the soup is simmering, make the picada. In a saute pan over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the almonds, bread and garlic and saute until golden, about 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon transfer to a mortar, reserving the oil in the pan. Using a pestle crush the almond mixture to a paste and then work in the vinegar.
To the oil in the pan, add the onion and saute over medium heat until pale gold, about 15 minutes. Stir in paprika and then the tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.
Add the saffron and stock and stir well.
Add the green beans, pumpkin and pears to the chick-peas and simmer for 10 minutes.
Add the picada and the tomato mixture to the soup and stir to combine. Simmer 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt & pepper.
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