Despite what many people think, Spain is cold in the winter time, at least in Madrid. There’s a saying here: nueve meses de invierno y tres de infierno which just means it’s really hot for three months and really cold for the rest, basically like in the Midwest where I’m from.
As someone who is always cold, I’ve started making soup in order to keep myself warm. As the proclaimed “soup queen” of my apartment, I’d like to share some recipes with you to get you excited about the winter weather with the promise of something hot and delicious.
Cocido is a traditional Madrid dish with yummy meats and veggies and broth. It’s one of the only hearty dishes the Spanish culture has, so be sure to really dig in! This recipe comes from Devour Madrid, but don’t feel like you have to follow it exactly (personally, it’s really hard to find bones and marrow and all that, so I leave in out).
2 cups chickpeas
9 oz. veal, cut into 2 inch chunks
5 oz. chunk of Serrano ham
1 5” ham bone
1 3” chunk of veal bone marrow
5 oz. 2-inch thick bacon chunks
1 large 10 inch chorizo cut into 4 inch pieces
2 cloves of garlic
2 large carrots
1 cup pasta noodles
Water, enough to cover the ingredients and two inches over
Morcilla (blood sausage) [can be omitted]
- Allow garbanzo beans to sit in water overnight. drain excess water and set aside.
- Peel the garlic, onion, carrots and potatoes and set aside.
- Cook veal, bones, chorizo and ham in a large pot in just enough water to cover. Add salt to taste.
- When the water begins to boil, remove the excess foam.
- After an hour, add the chickpeas, garlic, onion and carrots, whole.
- Cover pot and simmer for an hour and a half.
- Drain the stock and reserve the rest of the ingredients on a platter.
- Put the stock back into the same pot and use it to cook the noodles.
- In a different pot, boil the peeled potatoes. Drain and place along with the rest of the ingredients you reserved.
- Cut the cooked vegetables into big chunks and add to the meat platter.
Chicken and Vegetable Soup
I make this one all the time, at least once a week. Spain isn’t really known for having those pre-made, can soups (clam chowder, I miss you), but instead they have packets with soup powder and noodles that you mix with water. That’s super boring, so I’ve come up with ways to spice it up.
1 packet of instant soup mix (or 3 pints of chicken broth)
1 red onion
1 Italian pepper
4 moderately sized potatoes
2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
Cayenne to taste
Garlic salt to taste
Balsamic vinegar to taste
*If your soup mix doesn’t have noodles and you want them, go ahead and select your favorite noodle
- Peel the potatoes and carrots.
- Cut the potatoes, carrots, onion, and pepper into chunks. Put the chunks into a bowl.
- Cook the chicken by poaching it—put the breast in a skillet with water and let the water boil. This should take about 20 minutes.
- After the chicken is cooked, cut it into chunks. Put aside.
- If you want noodles, then cook whatever noodle shape you have chosen. Set it aside.
- Dump the soup packet into a pot with about 2 quarts of water. Add more water for a more diluted soup, less water for a more flavorful one. If using broth, just pour in the broth.
- Dump the vegetables, noodles, and chicken into the broth. Mix it all up.
- While the soup simmers, add the spices to your liking.
- Once the soup starts to boil and the potatoes and carrots are soft, you can enjoy!
Tomato with a Twist
I love tomato soups, especially with a grilled cheese. This recipe I’ve recently found is so easy, which makes it perfect for when I really want something quick, but I always put a heavy handful of shredded cheese on top. This recipe comes from Inspired Taste.
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 large onion, cut into large wedges
1 (28-ounce) can tomatoes, whole peeled or crushed
1 1/2 cups water or low-sodium chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, or more to taste
- Melt butter over medium heat in a Dutch oven or large saucepan.
- Add onion wedges, water, can of tomatoes with their juices, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
- Bring to a simmer. Cook, uncovered, for about 40 minutes. Stir occasionally and add additional salt as needed.
- Blend the soup with an immersion or traditional blender.
I hope you stay warm this holiday season with these three different soup recipes. ¡Buen provecho!0