Cazuela is one of those comforting dishes you can find in most homes, but rarely in restaurants. The reason is probably its extreme simplicity, but sometimes the best things in life are the less pompous ones, right? This is our vegetarian version of Cazuela, (in fact, it is vegan), and if you add quinoa or barley instead of the Israeli couscous I used simply because I had it in the pantry, it can also be a gluten free, and virtually fat free meal.
The traditional recipe is made with beef and / or lamb and hen, which, as you can imagine, makes a very hearty soup. But even though these ingredients add a lot of flavor to the dish, I prefer to make it meat-less and enjoy the taste of each vegetable in all its simple glory.
I usually add some small pasta or rice to this soup, but Israeli couscous is just as delicious and it slightly thickens the dish, which makes it more filling and satisfying. Quinoa, barley, amaranth, oats, or any other grain would also be a perfect addition. Serve in soup bowls with toasted bread on the side (optional), and some aji amarillo paste, if you like it spicy.
Who says winter is synonymous of greasy, heavy, fattening food? This could very well become your go-to vegetarian dish for the winter. It certainly is one of mine.
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
- 1 cup cabbage, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup finely sliced green beans
- ½ cup turnip, chopped
- 1 cup fava beans, peeled
- 1 carrot, diced
- 2 corns, cut in 2 pieces each
- 1 celery stick, finely sliced
- ½ cup cooked garbanzo beans
- 1 cup green peas
- 4 potatoes, peeled
- 1 cup pumpkin, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup yucca, peeled and sliced
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 6 cups vegetable stock
- 1 cup (aproximately) parsley and cilantro sprigs
- Salt and pepper
- To serve:
- Ají amarillo paste
- Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat.
- Add onion and garlic, and cook for 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, stirring well.
- Add cabbage, green beans, turnip, fava beans, carrot, corn, celery, garbanzo beans, green peas, potatoes, pumpkin, yucca, dried oregano, and the vegetable stock.
- Tie the parsley and cilantro sprigs with a kitchen string to make a bunch and put in the pot.
- Put the lid on and bring to a boil. Turn the heat to medium low and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Add the Israeli couscous and cook until very tender. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add the zucchini slices and cook for 7 more minutes.
- Discard the parsley and cilantro.
- Serve with aji amarillo paste.