I grew up in Florida, and one of my fondest memories was vacationing in Longboat Key and going into Sarasota to eat dinner at the fabulous Cuban restaurant, Columbia Restaurant.
Among other things, their Spanish Bean Soup was absolutely TO DIE FOR! I came across this recipe for the soup recently and made a few adaptations to make it quicker (since I couldn’t find dried Garbanzo beans), but the soup is the stuff memories are made of still! This soup is the perfect cold weather soup – add a cuban sandwich if you a lucky enough to have those ingredients on hand too! If not a cuban, serve with crusty bread. Enjoy!
P.S. It’s even better the next day, so feel free to make it a day ahead.
Spanish Bean Soup (aka Garbanzo Bean Soup)
(Adapted from the Colombia Restaurant)
2-15 oz cans or packages of garbanzo beans
2 ham hocks
2 1/2 quarts water
1 TBSP salt
¼ lb. salt pork, cut in thin strips
1 onion, finely chopped
1 chorizo (Spanish sausage), diced
2 potatoes, peeled and cut in quarters
½ tsp paprika
Drain the beans. Place beans in 4-quart soup kettle; add 2 1/2 quarts of water and ham hocks.
Cook for 45 minutes over low heat, skimming foam from the top.
Fry salt pork slowly in a pan.
Add chopped onion and sauté lightly.
Add to beans along with potatoes, paprika. Add salt to taste.
Cook about 20 minutes (or until potatoes are tender).
When potatoes are tender, remove from heat and add chorizo. Serve hot.