The Northern region of Spain called Asturias is famous for their fabada (bean stew) a rich, hearty meal all by itself, perfect to chase away the frosty winter weather. The problem (for me) with fabada, is that it takes all day to make. In a clay pot. Over a fire. I don’t have a hearth at home, (bummer), or the time to spend all day on a stew (another bummer) so I had to improvise. This is a quicker, simpler version that can be ready in just about a half an hour. I love the smokey flavor of the chorizo and bacon, and the longer you simmer this, the thicker it gets. Real fabada also calls for morcilla sausage (blood sausage), but I don’t particularly relish the idea of morcilla, so I leave it out. Feel free to add it if you like it.
First things first…The chorizo should preferably be cured Asturian chorizo, the main purpose for which is for stewing.
Next off, make sure you have all the ingredients ready…I like the jarred beans that don’t require soaking, or a 2 hour cook time, but that’s just me…I try to find time savers whenever possible. The bacon should be a nice thick slice, I have my butcher slice it extra thick, but if you can’t find it, just use a little more of regular smoked bacon. Also, thyme sprigs (still attached to the stick) give a much deeper flavor than regular jarred leaves, so if you can find them, go for those instead.
a splash of olive oil
1 onion, roughly chopped
1/2 red pepper, roughly chopped
1/2 green pepper, roughly chopped
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
1 extra thick slice smoked bacon, chopped
2 chorizos Asturianos
cracked black pepper to taste
1 bay leaf
a couple of thyme sprigs
1 tablespoon smokey paprika
2 jars butter beans (20 ounce, undrained)
beef broth to cover everything (about 2 quarts)
Heat oil in a stock pot, and sautee vegetables, thyme and bay until fragrant and vegetables are tender.
Add bacon and chorizo and continue stirring a couple of minutes.
Add remaining ingredients and bring to a rolling boil.
Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer a good 30 minutes (more for thicker soup).
Serve with crusty baguettes, and some delicious cheese wedges.
Don’t forget the wine!