This is a loose vegetarian interpretation of Fabada Asturiana - a bean and sausage stew from the mountains of Asturias in northern Spain. I haven't traveled to Asturias yet, but I've had a seafood version of Fabada here in Madrid.
Most of all, I love how much the Spaniards love their bean stews. There's nothing more comforting in winter to me than a steaming bowl of chunky beans and vegetables in a rich broth. That's why I'm spotlighting some favorite winter soups in the toolbar over to the right, to get us through the final days of winter!
Cannellini-style white beans are used in traditional Fabada, but I prefer butter beans because they're my favorite bean and they make the soup extra hearty. Smoked paprika creates a sweet-smoky backdrop, and a splash of sherry vinegar at the end brightens the whole dish. But the humble cabbage is the unsung hero. It does the heavy lifting in the flavor department.
You know how I feel about cabbage. It's a triple threat. I'm smitten with its nutrient density, its ability to infuse a sweet richness into broth like no other vegetable can, and its versatility to be eaten cooked or raw as taco cups, slaw, and ferments. I don't play into food trends, but I'm wishing for cabbage to become the new kale.
If you're skeptical of cabbage, even after this Moroccan Vegetable Hot Pot, but you're also curious, don't let another opportunity pass you by! This one will not disappoint. And if I sound confident. I am. ;-)
Spanish Cabbage and Butter Bean Stew
- Glug of cold-pressed olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
- 1/2 medium head Savoy cabbage (~400 gr.)
- 750 ml crushed tomatoes
- 6 cups (1.4 L) water
- 1 vegetable bouillon cube (or more salt)
- 1 1/2 tsp. salt
- 3 cups (515 gr) cooked butter beans
- 1 Tbsp. Sherry vinegar
- Fresh cilantro, to top (optional but tasty)
- Heat a large soup pot over medium heat. Add olive oil, onion, garlic and smoked paprika. Cook until beginning to soften (2-3 minutes).
- In the meantime halve cabbage half through core, remove core, and slice the two quarters. Add sliced cabbage, crushed tomatoes, water, bouillon, and salt to soup pot.
- Cover pot, raise heat to bring to a boil, reduce to simmer and cook, covered, for 15 minutes.
- Add beans and sherry vinegar and cook, covered, 5 minutes. Taste and adjust for salt and acidity.
- Ladle into bowls and top with cilantro if using. (This is superb served with cornbread!)