Welcome, foodies! Today we’re taking a virtual trip to the stunning landlocked country nestled in the heart of the Pyrenees – Andorra. We’re going to explore their rich culinary heritage and learn how to prepare one of their most celebrated dishes – the Vegetarian Escudella.
Escudella is Andorra’s national dish and you can’t leave without indulging in this hearty soup. Traditionally prepared with meat or sausage, I’ve put my own spin on this classic recipe and created a vegan-friendly version equally delicious, hearty and nutritious.
This lovely soup strikes a perfect balance between the summer vegetables and traditional Andorran flavors; from French toast to Carn d’Olla – the pride of Catalan cuisine. It’s an ideal way to enjoy freshly harvested seasonal produce while staying true to Andorran cuisine.
I’m excited to share my take on this beloved dish, which is inspired by Spanish escudella de pagès (peasant’s stew) and French rustic soups. This vegetarian Escudella recipe uses ingredients that are both nourishing and respectful of animal welfare.
So let’s dive into this vibrant vegetarian escudella recipe!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Picture this: it’s a chilly evening in the middle of winter and you’re looking for a hearty and warming soup to fill your belly. That’s where Vegetarian Escudella comes in. This Andorran national dish is a stew made with a medley of winter vegetables, great northern beans, and spices that will warm you up from the inside out.
But why should you love this recipe? For starters, it’s completely plant-based and vegan-friendly. Whether you’re a strict vegan or simply trying to incorporate more plant-based meals into your diet, this recipe hits the spot without compromising on flavor or texture.
Not only is it delicious, but it’s also a traditional dish that has been enjoyed by Andorrans for generations. By making this dish, you’re not just cooking a meal – you’re traveling to the tiny country nestled in the Pyrenees mountains and experiencing its cuisine and culture.
But even if you’re not interested in cultural experiences or vegan diets, this soup is perfect for when you need to whip up something healthy and filling for a group of people. You can easily double or triple the recipe to feed large crowds, making it perfect for potlucks and family gatherings.
In short, Vegetarian Escudella is more than just a soup- it’s an experience. A taste of Andorran cuisine wrapped into a warm bowl of relaxation. So go ahead and give it a try- I promise you won’t be disappointed!
Let’s take a look at the ingredients you will need to make this traditional Andorran dish, vegetarian escudella. Escudella is a hearty and comforting stew made with a variety of vegetables and beans, which makes it the perfect dish for colder weather. In this version, we will be replacing the meat with beans and using some summer vegetables to brighten up the flavors.
Here is what you’ll need:
- 1 cabbage, cut into small pieces
- 1/4 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into bite-sized pieces
- 2 potatoes, peeled and cut into small cubes
- 1 zucchini, sliced
- 1 carrot, peeled and sliced
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 can great northern beans, rinsed and drained
- 8 cups water
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 teaspoons fresh oregano
- 2 teaspoons marjoram
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
Note: If you have trouble finding some of these ingredients locally, you can always order them online from specialty websites.
With the right ingredients in hand, we are now ready to put together this delicious vegetarian escudella recipe!
The Recipe How-To
To create this Vegetarian Escudella, we will need to gather the following ingredients:
- 1/4 cup of olive oil
- 1 onion, roughly chopped
- 2 carrots, cut into small pieces
- 1 zucchini, cut into small pieces
- 3 potatoes, cut into small pieces
- 1/4 head of cabbage, roughly chopped
- A handful of green beans, ends trimmed and cut in half
- 1 can of great northern beans, drained and rinsed
- 6 cups of water
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon of fresh oregano
- 1 tablespoon of fresh marjoram
- 1 teaspoon of paprika
- Dash of soy sauce
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and sauté until translucent.
- Stir in the chopped carrots and let cook for about five minutes, then add the zucchinis and potatoes. Sauté for another five minutes.
- Next, add in the roughly chopped cabbage and green beans. Cook everything together for another five minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Pour in six cups of water over the vegetables once they are evenly distributed in the pot. Turn up the heat to high and bring to a boil.
- Once boiling, lower the heat to a simmer and add your drained beans (great northern). Then season generously with salt and pepper.
- Add your conditionings as well – a tablespoon each of fresh oregano and marjoram and a teaspoon of paprika for that extra zing. Finally, dash some soy sauce as a tasty salt replacement.
- Let everything cook together on low heat for at least two hours or until all veggies are fork-tender.
Serve hot alone or with some freshly cooked pasta or some seasoned spaghetti squash!
Substitutions and Variations
If you are looking to switch things up, there are a few variations and substitutions you can make to this vegetarian Escudella recipe. Here are a few suggestions:
– Instead of cabbage, try using kale or collard greens for a heartier taste.
– Use any type of beans in place of great northern beans – chickpeas, kidney beans, or black beans would be good options.
– Replace the zucchini with yellow summer squash or add some diced eggplant for a different texture.
– For a meaty flavor, add some vegetarian sausage or chorizo-style crumbles. You can also use tempeh bacon bits for a smoky flavor.
– Experiment with different spices to switch up the flavor profile. Try adding cumin, coriander, or ginger for some added warmth to the dish.
– To make this dish gluten-free, replace the spaghetti squash with gluten-free pasta.
Remember that these changes may affect the overall taste and texture of your vegetarian Escudella stew, so be sure to adjust any additional ingredients accordingly. Feel free to get creative and make it your own!
Serving and Pairing
Now that your vegetarian escudella is ready to serve, it’s time to think about the perfect accompaniments to make this dish truly shine. This soup is hearty and full of rustic flavors, so it pairs perfectly with a crusty bread that can help soak up all the delicious broth.
To add a touch of brightness and freshness to your meal, feel free to serve with a side salad or some lightly steamed greens. I would recommend a simple arugula salad dressed with a drizzle of olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
As for beverages, a glass of red wine or a cold beer would be the perfect complement to this comforting stew. For non-alcoholic options, try serving a refreshing iced tea or sparkling water with a slice of lemon.
If you’re looking to really indulge, why not finish off your meal with a sweet treat like some torrejas (a type of French toast) or another classic Catalan dessert? It’s the perfect way to cap off this celebration of Andorran cuisine.
No matter how you decide to serve it, your vegetarian escudella will surely be the highlight of any meal. With its hearty vegetables and rich broth, this soup will quickly become a go-to recipe in your repertoire.
Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating
One of the great things about vegetarian escudella is that it can be made ahead of time, making it a perfect dish for entertaining or meal prepping. The flavors will even improve as the soup sits, so don’t be afraid to make a large batch.
To make ahead, simply prepare the soup according to the recipe and allow it to cool completely. Transfer it to an airtight container or individual containers and store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
When it comes time to reheat, you can either do so on the stove in a soup pot over medium heat until warmed through, stirring occasionally, or you can microwave individual servings. If reheating from frozen, defrost in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.
As with most soups and stews, vegetarian escudella may thicken as it sits. If this happens, simply stir in a bit of water or vegetable broth until desired consistency is reached.
Whether you are making this soup ahead of time or reheating leftovers, you can rest assured that it will still taste just as delicious as when it was first made.
Tips for Perfect Results
Cooking the vegetarian escudella can seem daunting, but with a few tips, you can make sure your dish comes out perfectly every time. Here are some pointers that will ensure your escudella is bursting with flavor and has the perfect texture.
Firstly, don’t be afraid to season your dish generously. The dish uses a variety of vegetables, beans and spices that give off different flavors. Ensure you balance the flavors with salt, pepper, paprika, and other spices like fresh oregano and marjoram. I have found that adding a tablespoon or two of soy sauce at the end really amplifies the taste.
To make sure your vegetables are cooked evenly, cut them into small pieces. Potatoes should be around 1-inch pieces while carrots should be cut into thin rounds. Green beans should be chopped into 1-inch sizes, and cabbage should be sliced into long thin strips. This ensures they cook at the same pace and also grabs as much flavor from the broth as possible.
One neat trick to getting those bite-sized balls of sausage is rinsing and soaking your white beans in cold water overnight. Boil your raw sausage with one or two bay leaves for about an hour until fully cooked. Then take it out and let it cool slightly before handling it when it’s warm to touch make small balls just larger than a grape by squeezing out the sausage meat from its casing.
Lastly, don’t forget to let your escudella rest for about 30 minutes before serving. The flavors will meld together and become even more delicious! By following these tips, you’ll have a perfect vegetarian escudella that everyone will love.
In conclusion, this vegetarian escudella recipe is a must-try for those looking to expand their culinary horizons and experiment with different cuisines. With its combination of savory spices and fresh summer vegetables, it’s a delicious and healthy meal that will surely impress your taste buds.
Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a beginner in the kitchen, this recipe is simple to follow and can be easily customized to suit your preferences. Plus, by substituting meat with Great Northern beans, it becomes an excellent choice for vegetarians and vegans alike.
So why not travel around the world from the comfort of your own kitchen by trying out this traditional Andorran dish? It’s the perfect way to bring a touch of global cuisine into your home while also enjoying a hearty and delicious meal. Give it a try and see how much you love it!
Vegetarian Escudella (Andorra) Recipe
- 8 cups water (can use all or part vegetable broth or add vegetable bouillion cubes)
- 2 cups cooked great northern beans (or pinto beans)
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 large carrot, chopped
- 1/2 lb zucchini, diced (200 grams)
- 2 medium potatoes, diced
- 1/3 lb green beans, chopped small
- 2 cups cabbage, shredded
- 1/2-1 cup vegetarian sausage, sliced (or crumbled)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1/2 tablespoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon fresh oregano (1 tsp. dried) or 1 tablespoon marjoram (1 tsp. dried)
- Put the water in a big pan. When it starts to boil add the onion, carrot, and zucchini. Lower heat to medium and cook for 10 minutes.
- Now add the beans, diced potato, the green beans cut into small pieces, and the cabbage. Add the vegetarian sausage. Cook for 20-25 more minutes, until vegetables are tender.
- Finally, add the fresh oregano or marjoram (or 1 tsp dried), olive oil, soy sauce and the paprika. Let it simmer for a few minutes. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve.
- Makes 12 bowls of soup.
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Jolo is a talented chef and food blogger with a passion for vegan and Caribbean flavors. From savory vegetarian dishes to tropical smoothies, Jolo’s Kitchen has something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for meat-free meals or creative Caribbean recipes, Jolo’s Kitchen is the perfect place for you.