Menestra de Verduras, or Spanish Vegetable Soup is a celebration of Mediterranean ingredients, and this bountiful soup is packed with powerful flavors. It’s one of the most satisfying vegetable soups I’ve ever had!
This Spanish style vegetable soup is perfect for a cold spring day, which is exactly what it is here today. It’s a classic vegetable soup, but the artichokes, Manzanilla olives, white beans, paprika and sherry vinegar give it a Mediterranean flair. Vegetable soups can be bland and boring, but this one has a zip to it, it’s always been one of my favorites. You want to under-cook the veggies, though, especially when you’re making a spring soup. Soup continues to cook as it sits, so usually, no matter how hard you try, the vegetables end up softer than you’d like. You have to make a concerted effort to cook them for less time than you think.
These aren’t great photos, but better than nothing. And the recipe is a classic so it’s worth having.
I used to make this ages ago from one of the Vegetarian Epicure Cookbooks. Something triggered my memory recently and I’m revisiting it. I don’t have the book handy, so I made this up as I went. The veggie quantities are variable according to your taste and what’s available. Fresh peas, new potatoes, green beans and asparagus are traditional. Sometimes Serrano ham or boiled eggs are used. I added the white beans for heft— I’m feeding teenagers here. I served this with slices of baguette— buttered, topped with shredded Asiago cheese, and toasted under the broiler. So good!!
Menestra de Verduras, Spanish Vegetable Soup
- 1 large Spanish onion halved and thinly slicedolive oil
- 2 or 3 cloves garlic thinly sliced
- button mushrooms quartered
- 1/2 cup sherry or dry white wine
- 32 oz chicken stock
- 1 26 oz box Pom chopped tomatoes
- baby potatoes halved or quartered
- asparagus trimmed and cut in bite sized pieces
- green beans trimmed and cut in bite sized pieces
- 1 Tbsp Spanish paprika
- a dash of red pepper flakes
- fresh cracked black pepper
- 1 cup fresh peas I couldn't find any
- 1 red pepper chopped
- 1 can white beans drained and rinsed
- 1 cup canned or frozen artichoke hearts quartered
- Manzanilla or Spanish olives
- a dash of sherry vinegar
- a handful of parsley finely chopped
- Asiago or Manchego cheese grated
- Coat the bottom of a heavy soup pot with olive oil. When the oil is hot, saute the onions for about 10 minutes, and then add the garlic and mushrooms to the pot.
- Saute for several minutes and then add the wine. Let the wine evaporate and then add the stock and tomatoes. Bring up to a simmer.
- Add in the potatoes, and let simmer for a few minutes to give the potatoes a head start.
- Add in the asparagus, and green beans. Season with paprika, salt, pepper, and chili flakes.
- Let the soup simmer gently until the veggies are tender but still firm.
- Add in the red bell pepper and the white beans, artichoke hearts and olives. Add the dash of vinegar, check the seasonings, and set aside until ready to eat.
- The soup can be cooled and refrigerated at this point. When ready to serve, bring up to a simmer, add the parsley, and taste one more time for seasoning. Add a little water if necessary to extend the stock. Garnish with parsley and cheese just before serving.