Potaje Canario de Verduras (Canarian Vegetable Stew)

Potaje (pronounced po-TAH-hay) is a delicious multi vegetable stew very typical of the Canary Islands.  Here, rather than have all the food served at once, meals are served in courses.  Generally a first course, which can be either a soup, stew, salad, or pasta and is then followed by the main course and of course following that, dessert and coffee.  Many restaurants in Spain offer a lunch “menu,” where you can choose a first and second course from the day’s specials, and it comes with a beverage and dessert.  I’m pretty sure that the variety of potajes are as varied as the chefs that prepare them.  There are lentil potajes, watercress potajes (look for this one soon), corn potaje…the limit is your own creativity, much like soups and stews everywhere else in the world.  Let me share with you my mil’s recipe for Potaje Canario….




*note, add or subract at your preference, the amounts are approximate.

2 tablespoons olive oil
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon smokey paprika
2 ripe tomatoes, skinned, seeded and diced
1 onion, diced
a few sprigs of thyme
1-2 bay leaves
salt and pepper to taste
1 cob corn, broken in two pieces
3 zucchini, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 large handful green beans, trimmed and cut into bite sized pieces
1 large handful of fresh pinto beans, shucked (you can also use canned)
2 large potatoes, peeled and diced
1/2 of a sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 chunk of pumpkin, peeled and diced (about 2 cups)
1 red pepper, seeded and diced
1 thick slice of bacon, sliced (omit for vegan/vegetarian)
enough broth to generously cover vegetables (I used about 3 1/2 quarts I’d guess?)


In a large stockpot (this makes a LOT!), heat olive oil and saute garlic just until golden.
Add tomatoes, onions, paprika, thyme and bay, then season with salt and pepper.
Saute until vegetables are tender (this is called the “refrito.”)
Add remaining ingredients and generously cover with stock.
Season with salt and pepper.

Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer about 30 minutes.
Remove lid and simmer another hour or so, until the stew begins to thicken.
Adjust seasoning.
Serve with Queso Fresco and nice crispy baguettes.

9 Responses to “Potaje Canario de Verduras (Canarian Vegetable Stew)”

  1. wow that looks awesome, love all the ingredients – i like pumpkin as an ingredient

  2. I love the addition of pumpkin and I love the corn cobs floating in there. This recipe is dog-eared!

  3. I would love to be sitting somewhere overlooking the Sea and eating this fulfilling soup :D Keep up the posting Nikki :D

  4. Hi Nikki

    Thank you SO much for getting around to posting the potaje recipes. As the weather is a bit miz (by Canarian standards) your timing couldn´t be better!

    Tried your mojo recipe last week – best ever and I´ve had mojo in 101 different restaurants. What more can I say?

    Apart from congratulations on your new award. Keep on keeping us happy!

  5. Thanks, Van! The pumpkin is great in here…just a hint of sweet with the tomato. :)

    Thanks, Megan! The corn cobs weren’t the best this time…usually they’re nice and full, but they sure do give great flavor! :)

    Valli, yes indeed! I would be great to sit on a terrace overlooking the water with a nice bowl of this in hand. :)

    You are SO very welcome Colleen! :) Thank you so much for the compliment on my mojo, too! :D I’m thrilled you liked it, and honored by your praise…that’s a tall one! :)

  6. Nikki, This looks heavenly! I am so making this. My husband would love it. Thanks!

    I hope you don’t mind, but I’ve tagged you for a meme.


  7. Thank you, Susan! I hope you like it! :) Sure I don’t mind! I’ll try to do the meme tomorrow. :)

  8. Thanks for the recipe. Made this last night and it’s really gorgeous.

    I’ve lived in Gran Canaria for six months now and regularly enjoy my girlfriend’s mother’s potaje at least once a week. She pretty much throws a bunch of stuff in a pressure cooker for 30 minutes and it tastes great. Not really been able to emulate her success with this strategy before. Maybe she’s hiding something from us so we visit more often.

  9. Hi! I discovered your internet site accidentally today, but am really pleased that we did! Its not only entertaining, but in addition straightforward to make use of in contrast to lots that Ive viewed!

Talk to me, baby!


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