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Spanish Bean Soup (Potaje de Garbanzos)

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Ingredients

½ pound garbanzo beans (chickpeas), dried
2 quarts water
1 tablespoon salt
1 ham bone
1 beef bone
¼ pound salt pork, cut in thin strips
1 onion, finely chopped
2 potatoes, peeled and cut in quarters
½ teaspoon paprika
Pinch of saffron
1 chorizo (Spanish sausage), sliced in thin rounds

Preparation

Wash garbanzos. Soak overnight with 1 tablespoon salt
in enough water to cover beans. Drain the salted water
from the beans. Place beans in 4-quart soup kettle; add
2 quarts of water and the ham and beef bones. Cook for
45 minutes over low heat, skimming foam from the top.
Fry salt pork slowly in a skillet. Add chopped onion and
saute lightly. Add to beans along with potatoes, paprika,
and saffron. Add salt to taste. When potatoes are tender,
remove from heat and add chorizo. Serve hot in deep
soup bowls. Serves 4.

This is the soup that made the Columbia famous for food.
The Columbia’s founder, Casimiro Hernandez Sr., adapted
his version from the heavy, multicourse cocido madrilèno
stew of Spain. His simplified version served elements of
the original feast—meat, potatoes, and garbanzos—in one
bowl. By the 1920s, newspapers boasted of Tampa’s three
great delights: sunshine, cigars, and soup. For a thicker
soup, stew it longer.


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