Despite the tropical weather, in many parts of Colombia soups remain a popular part of the food culture. This recipe for richly flavoured vegetarian soup is quick to prepare and freezes well. Feel free to omit the pureeing stage if you prefer a chunkier soup.
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 500 g desiree potatoes, roughly chopped
- 400 g carrots, roughly chopped
- 1 corn cob, kernels removed, cob reserved
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- salt and black pepper
- 3 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- ½ tsp saffron
- 2 bay leaves
- 1.5 litres (6 cups) vegetable stock
- 200 g green beans, topped, cut into 3cm lengths
- ½ lemon, juiced
- ¼ cup chopped coriander leaves
- crusty bread, to serve
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
The following recipe has been tested and edited by SBS Food and may differ slightly from the podcast.
Place a large stockpot over medium heat. Add olive oil and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes until onion begins to soften. Add the potato, carrot, corn kernels, garlic and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring regularly, for 8–10 minutes until the vegetables soften. Add the ground cumin and coriander and cook for 1 minute. Add the saffron, bay leaves, stock and the reserved corn cob. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 25–30 minutes until the potato and carrot are tender. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Remove the bay leaves and corn cob.
Process half of the vegetables and a ladle of stock in a food processor until smooth. Return the mixture to the stockpot and bring to a simmer. Add the green beans and cook for 4–5 minutes until tender. Add lemon juice and season to taste.
Ladle soup into deep bowls, top with coriander and serve with crusty bread.
Photography by Alan Benson