Hearty Galician Vegetable Soup

It is quite common when you take a look at the native cuisine from any one particular country to come up with a particular theme or common approach / name for the catering or cuisine from that country. Such as Chinese Food, Thai Food etc but to be honest it could be argued that with regards to Spain there is no such thing as "Spanish" food as with the make up and historical heritage of Spain it is not quite that simple.

The reason for this is that Spain is an amalgam of its constituent parts that is to say it could be described as a political construct which is made up of disparate groups with their own languages, cultures, cuisines etc. These autonomous regions have been slowly amalgamated through a number of different processes throughout history but have all kept their own distinctive features.

The number of autonomous different regions that form what we would nowadays refer to as Spain is 17; they all have their own linguistic variations of the language, in some cases it's a different sub language entirely and as well as their own cultures most definitely have their own individual cuisines. One of those autonomous regions comprises the north-western province of Galicia.

Galicia is surrounded on two sides by the Atlantic Ocean and it is pretty understandable to think that for a region that has such an involvement with the sea, its cuisine would also be heavily influenced by the sea. That having said not all of Galician cuisine is all seafood based and the region can lay claim to some quite gorgeous recipes and provincial dishes and are all well worth trying out.

Enough of all of the chat and lets get down to the serious business of food!

This particular recipe will actually serve between six to eight people and is ideal for large family gatherings or generally when you have a couple friends round and you cannot think of what to give them. The ingredients that you would need will be as follows:

200 g of dried white beans make sure if you're using dried beans to soak them overnight.
1 Ham bone, traditionally Serrano ham if you can, but any unsmoked ham bone will do.
1 Beef bone
1 small onion quartered.
2 litres of water
450 g of greens such as turnip top's spring greens, kale, cabbage etc.
100 g of sweet soft chorizo in one piece.
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon paprika or however much paprika you want to put on it subject to taste.

Take the white beans that you've been soaking overnight and drain them and place them all together with the meat bones, onion and water in a large heavy-based saucepan or casserole dish. Take this mixture and bring it to the boil skimming off any foam that might arise and then simmer the entire mixture for about 1 1/2 hours or until the beans are almost tender. A useful little tip here is to occasionally add a small glass of cold water to the mixture because basically what this does is almost shock the beans and it helps keep the skins off the beans intact.

Take the potatoes the greens and the chorizo and continue to simmer for a further 20 to 30 minutes or again until the potatoes you feel are cooked.

Take the entire mixture remove the bones from the saucepan and season with a little salt and pepper and add some paprika. Taking a large spoon remove the chorizo from the pan and take this and cut into slices and then return the meat to the pan.

If you want to thicken the soup is likely what you could do is take some of the beans and potatoes and put them into a food processor or blender and purée them and add them back into the soup itself. Alternatively you could actually take the entire mixture itself and insert a hand-held blender into it and basically break up as much as you can which will have much the same effect.

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About The Author, Scott James
Scott James writes about a great many Internet Travel based issues and more on the above can be found at Hoteles Galicia For a more complete overlook at Tourism in Galicia try http://www.turgalicia.es