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Menestra de Verduras, Spanish Vegetable Soup




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Menestra de Verduras, Spanish Vegetable Soup

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!

Menestra de Verduras, Spanish Vegetable Soup

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.

Menestra de Verduras, Spanish Vegetable Soup

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
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3.5 from 2 votes

Menestra de Verduras, Spanish Vegetable Soup

Course Appetizer, Soup
Cuisine Spansih

Ingredients

  • 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
  • salt
  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.

 

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10 Comments

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  • Reply
    Cathleen
    May 7, 2012 at 5:02 am

    I saw the olives, and I thought to myself “I am so there” This looks absolutely delicious!

  • Reply
    miireya @myhealthyeatinghabits
    May 5, 2012 at 5:48 pm

    I love menestra! Spaniards cook the heck out of it, but the flavor from all those mixed vegetables is so fantastic!

  • Reply
    Claudia
    May 4, 2012 at 2:09 pm

    This is indeed chock full of goodies – nothing bland here. Kudos to you! If I was moving – I’d be eating out.

  • Reply
    Lea Ann
    May 4, 2012 at 11:58 am

    How on earth are you able to cook and blog about it while in the middle of a cross country move?? Anyway, I’m glad you are because this soup sounds incredible. So colorful and full of everything I love! Have to make this one. I think we’re in for some cooler weather also, perfect timing.

  • Reply
    Lyndsay Wells
    May 3, 2012 at 8:55 pm

    The addition of the olives is what I love about this. Beautiful recipe!

  • Reply
    Eileen
    May 3, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    Hmm, I have those old Vegetarian Epicure books kicking around on my cookbook shelf…maybe I should revisit them and see how the recipe compares!

  • Reply
    Heather @girlichef.com
    May 3, 2012 at 7:44 pm

    This looks fabulous. I love the green olives. I can’t believe it’s a cool Spring day in Cali. It’s 90 degrees in No.Indiana! Ugh. Trade ya!

  • Reply
    Mary
    May 3, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    I’ve never put olives in a soup before. I’m saving this recipe to try. Thanks! I can’t believe you already have a recipe to post. I know how much you’ve missed it though! Good luck with the house hunt.

  • Reply
    Tricia @ saving room for dessert
    May 3, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    I am in love! This soup sounds perfect. But you moved so far away! Guess I’ll have to make it myself. Thanks for the beautiful recipe and photos.

  • Reply
    Gerlinde in Dallas
    May 3, 2012 at 4:46 am

    I’m impressed you are still finding the time to cook, photograph and blog about your meals in the midst of a huge move across the country. I wish I had half your energy!

    The soup looks delicious. I have that book, yet never noticed the recipe. Will have to take a look.