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Basque purèed vegetable soup (Pure de verdudas)

Most folks think of purèed mixed vegetable soups as blah and boring. Yes, that is definitely true if the soup is not made well. However, elegant soups, like this one, are rich in flavour and delicious. The magic in these soups is the perfect balance of wonderful vegetables that are bursting with flavour and in season.

This soup is a joy. The sweet pumpkin is balanced with the green from the beans. The soup is very delicate as it is completely dependent on flavourful vegetables, and the topping of garlic oil adds all the flavour you need. Elegant, satisfying and very healthy, all you need is a great stub of sourdough bread for this soup.

I picked up this book on a whim, and have loved every recipe that I have tried. I admit that I have a penchant for Basque flavours and dishes, and this book satiates that craving. A fun book with beautiful pictures, history and of course great recipes. Alex Raij and Eder Montero are the chefs and owners of Txikito, New York. Basque: a love letter to the Basque Country in Spain- a region whose cuisine is distinguished by excellence and simplicity in ingredients and techniques. It is unencumbered food in which humble ingredients like beans and peppers hold the same value as aged farmhouse cheeses, pristine seafood, and unique breeds of lamb and cattle.

For more delicious recipes from this cookbook click here.



Ingredients:

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 large Spanish, or regular, onion, sliced

Salt, to taste

1 lb tender green beans, stems removed and cut into 1-inch pieces

1 small butternut, kabocha or yellow pumpkin, peeled and cubed

5 cups vegetable stock or water

1 carrot, chopped


3 tablespoons oil

6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced horizontally

Salty cheese such as Roncal, Parmesan or Pecorino, grated


Heat the oil in a medium pot large enough for the soup. Add the onions and the salt, turn the heat down to the minimum and cover the pot. Sweat the onions on low heat for 7-10 minutes till they are very soft.


Add the vegetables and cover the pot again. Turn the heat to low and cook the vegetables till they are soft and well steamed. this step is important to do slowly as it heightens the colour of the vegetables and extracts the flavours.


Add the water and bring it to a boil. Close the pot and simmer for 30 minutes. The vegetables should be very soft, especially the beans and the carrots. Cool the soup and purèe with a hand blender or in a blender till very smooth and has a silky feel on the palate. taste and adjust salt as needed.


The soup tends to thicken as it sits, so adjust the consistency to a soup that coats a spoon well when served.


To serve, heat the soup to a good simmer.


Heat the oil in a small pot and add the garlic. Fry till they are a light golden. Serve the soup in individual bowls with a drizzle of oil and a couple of slices of garlic and a light sprinkling of cheese.

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