Saturday, February 27, 2010

Souper Saturday: Garbanzos...Spanish Bean Soup

In my home, winter chill means Garbanzos... otherwise known as Spanish Bean Soup. Every Cuban/Spanish restaurant in Tampa has a version of this soup. It's a flavor explosion of garbanzo beans, potatoes, chorizo (dried sausage), onions and garlic. It's best eaten with a loaf (can't stop at one piece) of Cuban bread dripping with butter. (Any crusty bread will work...if you cannot find real Cuban bread.)

My mother and grandmother had their own ways of making this soup...and no restaurant version I have ever tasted comes close to their "recipes". Mama's soup was so jam-packed with goodies that it was more like a stew... and she learned this from her mama. Often the soup had to be thinned a bit to stretch it. But it never lost it's flavor. Why thin the soup? Why add the cabbage? Well, my grandmother had 10 children to feed...and my mom had football players and their friends who were always hungry. And me...I had the high school soccer team, the garage band, and a houseful of "lost boys" least at dinner time!!! Now please understand...neither of these ladies wrote their recipes down. When I asked Mama to teach me how to make it, she had me stand with her...and showed me, using her hands to measure ingredients. (Now you know where I learned the "by guess and by gosh" method of cooking.) This soup recipe makes a lot... but it freezes well.

Garbanzos (Spanish Bean Soup)

1 pound dried garbanzo beans (chick peas) OR
3 LARGE cans of chick peas

1 medium onion, diced

Garlic to taste (I use 4-5 cloves), peeled and diced

Olive Oil

1 meaty ham bone or 2-3 ham hocks with lots of meat
(*or 1/2 lb. ham, cut into bite-sized chunks)

1 pound stew beef, cut into bite-sized pieces

Chorizo Sausage, sliced (I use 2 - 4, depending on their sizes)

2-3 large potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-sized cubes

Cabbage (I use 1/2 of a small, tightly packed head), sliced really thin!

Salt and Pepper, to taste

Sazon or Vigo seasoning, 2-3 pkgs. (This is a saffron-based tiny
package of seasoning... used for yellow rice and innumerable
Hispanic, Jamaican, Cuban, and Creole dishes.)

Soak garbanzos overnight.Discard water and rinse the "dried" beans.
Set aside (or use canned beans, drained and rinsed.)

In a large soup po
t, saute the onions and garlic in a little olive oil, until translucent. Remove from the oil and set aside. In the same oil, brown the beef, adding a little salt and pepper. Set aside. Add the ham bone/hock to the pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook until the ham falls off the bone. Remove the bones and ham from the water. Cut ham into bite-sized pieces. To the ham stock, add the ham, beef, onion, garlic, and beans, chorizo and potatoes. Bring to a boil. Turn the heat down and simmer. Add the Sazon...and simmer until the soup thickens. Add salt and pepper to taste. (Add a little corn starch if needed, to thicken.) Add cabbage and cook until the cabbage is softened.

**This broth should be pretty thick and a golden color. This is one of those recipes that gets better, the longer it cooks.

Have a fun-filled weekend... Jane


GratefulPrayerThankfulHeart said...

Who could be cold after a bowl of this delicious looking soup!

I am such a recipe person. When I try to make something without precise measurements it never comes out as good as the person's who told me how to make it. I am glad your recipe to so clear! :)

jmac said...

YUM!! Looks delicious. I've never made anything with garbanzo beans. Think I'll have to try it!
Loved your note on my blob....still don't know why the pics didn't show up. They're of the cap'n divin with the sharks! hate computers HA!

Julie@beingRUBY said...

Sounds scrumptious and your home sounds a lot like mine growing up.. I often cooked with my mum but there were no recipes just all by feel and taste ... and our house was always full at dinner time with friends and teenagers from who knows where!! thanks... lovely memories!! xx Julie

One Shabby Old House said...

Boy does that look good. Thanks for sharing that recipe. I'll be over for leftovers. lol

Unknown said...

Hmmm. at first I wasn't sure but the more I think about this I think it sounds pretty good. Only one way to find out! Headed to the market today. Thanks for the recipe

Maria Killam said...

Love beans and they are so good for you!! Thanks for this!

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Girl, I will be right over!


Sheila :-)

Leigh of Tales from Bloggeritaville said...

Oh, Jane! This looks delish! I am going to try this one out! TY!!! Hope you had a great weekend. Stop by my place if you get a chance. Would love to have you visit.
Tales from Bloggeritaville

Bama Belle said...

Jane this looks wonderful! I will have try!!

OLLIE MCKAY'S ~ A Chic Boutique said...

Yummy Yummy - this looks delicious - LOVE bean soups!

The polished pebble said...

Yummy Jane, I will give this one a try. What is cuban bread exactly? It sounds heavenly, kelley

Anonymous said...

I spent a lot of time in Miami and I love this soup I can't wait to make it. This recipe looks so good. I have a question.... can I leave the beef out?

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