Saturday, October 8, 2011

Catalan Potato and Broad Bean Soup

Last year I was brave and discovered that I like broad beans. After that initial success, I even made some very delicious Broad Bean Felafel Fritters. I've been eagerly awaiting this years broad bean season, and was excited to see them for $2.99 a kilo over the past few weeks. Time for another broad bean intervention.

I decided to make a soup this time, and knew that I would have a recipe for a broad bean soup somewhere. Of course I did. Several. But I picked this one- I just love coriander, and can rarely resist it. I'm so glad I did- this is a fabulous soup. I'm not sure what makes it Catalan particularly, but it is simple and delicious nonetheless.

Catalan Potato and Broad Bean Soup

30mL/ 2 tblsp olive oil
2 onions, chopped
3 large floury potatoes, diced
450gm/1 lb fresh broad (fava) beans
1.75 L/ 3 pints/ 7 1/2 cups vegetable stock
1 bunch coriander (cilantro) leaves only
150 mL/ 1/4 pint/ 2/3 cup thickened light cream
salt, pepper

Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the onions, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes until softened but not brown.

Add potatoes, beans, and stock to the mixture in the pan and bring to the boil, then simmer for 15-20 minutes, until vegetables are soft. Add coriander, allow to wilt.

Process the mixture in a blender or food processor, then return soup to the pan.

Stir in the cream. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and bring to a simmer.

Serves 6
based on the recipe by
Anne Sheasby in The New Soup Bible

Not a particularly pretty picture this week I'm afraid- I took this soup to work everyday for lunch, so it was only able to be photographed in traveling containers. It doesn't do it justice.

The original recipe added the coriander after 5 minutes then simmered it for 10+ minutes. I like it added fresh at the very end. It keeps the lovely green colour, and more of the flavour I think. Less stewed, less grey. As such my soup was a pale green, pretty colour, the one in the book is more of a golden brown colour.

This soup is delicious hot or cold. A bit like a vichyssoise.

The recipe didn't state it, but I took "broad beans" to mean peeled, blanched, repeeled broad beans.

This post is linked to Weekend Cooking, a fabulous weekly meme at Beth Fish Reads.


  1. I love fresh coriander too. Yum. I can see that this would be good hot or cold. I have some winter squash waiting to be cooked up as well as some fall leeks, so now I'm thinking of using them instead of potatoes and onions. Hummm.

  2. I think blended soups usually taste better than they look :) This recipe sounds really good!

  3. I'll make this soup because of the coriander/cilantro. I love that stuff so much I grow it in pots to be able to get it fresh all year. (That was hard when we lived in the mid-west and on the road.)

  4. Oh boy, does this ever sound great! Beans, potatoes, onions, cilantro. I'm there.

  5. lots of soup round this anything with cilantro.

  6. I love soup and you just put soup on the Sunday dinner tale I think :)

  7. I have to find out how these beans are called in Dutch and then add it to soups to try :) I never had any kind of bean soup before.

    My weekend cooking post is here:

  8. I hope everyone else had a nice soup this weekend.

    Uniflame I did a quick google and wonder if they might be called tuinbootjes?

    The French name seems to be Feves des Marais.

  9. It's definitely soup season!

    I have to admit I'm a lazy bum and though I like broad beans (I've a really nice pasta recipe with it, smoked salmon, a bit of cream and some dill - yum) the amount of prep time they take turns me cold. I wonder if anyone has any tips for that? (Other than, "Just be patient and get it done, Kate?":)

  10. We just had our first snow of the year in the mountains up above us, and this looks recipe looks like delicious autumn comfort food. Think I'll try it soon. -Fay

  11. This does sound good -- cilantro would be an enticement for me, too.
    Joy's Book Blog