Posted by: puebloman | February 24, 2010

Recipe: Potage of spring vegetables, Andalucian style

The English word “potage” is the same word in Spanish. It means “substantial soup”, halfway between a soup and a stew. Here in the Axarquia it usually means a stew of beans or garbanzos (chick peas) mixed with unmentionable bits of pig and black pudding. If there is a vegetable in it, it’s usually cabbage. The dish is invariably delicious, delicately spiced, filling . . y muy economico . . .

Last week I ate a soup in Bar Andalucia in the town  of Velez Malaga. It was called “asparagus soup”. Rough, lumpy and lovely.

This potage uses the greens that are coming onto the market now in the Axarquia. At the moment they are forced, but in my garden I have several types of lettuce greens and beans that will be available in a couple of weeks. At the moment in the markets we have wild (thin) asparagus, artichokes, broad beans, potatoes and lettuce. At some point add a big knob of butter. Butter is French, not Andalucian, but it tastes good!

ingredients for 4

1 kilo broad beans, shucked.

8 small spanish artichokes, peeled and cut in quarters.

2 spanish onions or a bunch of “cebollitas”. Stripped.

Some good sliced bread and some strong flavoured olive oil

3 cloves garlic, skinned mashed and pulped to a paste with salt.

Bunch of thin asparagus, the “woody” part cut off.

1 lettuce chopped small.

2 handfuls rocket or watercress chopped small.

one and a half litres veg stock (your own or water with 6 teaspoons of Marigold bouillon stock powder).

4 good fresh eggs.

Bunch of flat parsley, chopped small.


1 Dissolve the stock in  the water.

2 Finely chop the onion and stew in olive oil on a low heat til it goes gooey and golden.

3 Meanwhile make the croutons in the oven. Heat oil in a roasting pan with a crushed clove of garlic, put in crustless squares of good bread. Cook til golden and turn. When done, drain on kitchen roll.

4 Mix the garlic with the onion in the pan. Cook a couple of minutes. Heat the stock and pour over the onions and garlic. . . . .liquidise.

5 Bring to a slow simmer and add the asparagus chopped into 3 cm lengths and the artichokes chopped into four. Simmer for fifteen minutes until almost tender.

6 Add the lettuce and rocket or watercress and bubble for a couple of minutes, add the beans and poach the eggs in the soup for four or five minutes.

7. Serve the potage, each dish with a poached egg and croutons scattered over. Finish with the parsley.



  1. Souinds wonderful, John.
    Hope there will be some lovely Morrocan recipes soon


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