Spanish soups may not be the first dishes that come to mind when someone asks you about the traditional foods of Spain.
Even so, they’re delicious, and believe it or not, you’ve probably tried or at least heard of a few of the most popular ones.
For example, plenty of people have enjoyed Spanish lentil soup, and I don’t know anyone who hasn’t at least heard of gazpacho, even if they haven’t had the pleasure of tasting it.
For this list, I’ve tried to gather 10 of the tastiest and most famous Spanish soups.
If you’ve tried them, use these recipes to have them again. If you haven’t, you’re in for a real treat.
Gazpacho is one of the most polarizing soups I’ve ever come across. People either love it or hate it.
Perhaps it’s because it’s cold, or maybe the raw veggies don’t appeal to them. Either way, for people who don’t like it, they really don’t like it.
However, if you like garden-fresh veggies and can get behind cool, refreshing soups for the summer, you should be impressed with it.
There’s no cooking involved, just slicing, chopping, blending, pouring, and chilling, and it takes only 20-25 minutes to make, not including fridge time.
Personally, I try to make it at least once or twice each summer as a way to use up extra garden veggies.
Caldo gallego is the traditional dish of Galicia, Spain, and it’s about as different from gazpacho as you can get.
First of all, it requires cooking – about 90 minutes of it, in fact – and second, it’s certainly not vegetarian- or vegan-friendly.
It’s still relatively simple to make, though, and it tastes phenomenal.
To prepare it, you’ll need white beans, water, a ham bone, a beef bone, pork fat, turnip leaves, potatoes, and salt.
This soup is rich and “stick to your ribs” hearty. It’s the perfect hot meal for warming you up on a cold winter’s night.
I recently learned that some people have a gene that makes cilantro taste like soap to them, and that breaks my heart for those people because cilantro is delicious.
This cilantro soup also includes onions, tomatoes, garlic, potatoes, rice, green peppers, bouillon, sea salt, paprika, and olive oil, so it’s doubly delicious.
If you love soup with plenty of veggies but can’t bring yourself to try cold gazpacho, this warm cilantro soup might be the better option.
Spanish vegetable soup, or menestra de verduras, is another warm, filling option for those of us who enjoy a nice hot cup of vegetable soup after a long, hard day.
The recipe calls for carrots, green beans, artichoke hearts, peas, turnips, Serrano ham, yellow onions, flour, olive oil, and salt.
However, you can use whatever veggies are fresh and in season.
Because the broth comes from water and what small amount of liquid comes from the veggies as they cook, it’s somewhat thin, focusing on the vegetables and ham instead.
It’s fresh, salty (in a good way), and herby, and if the thin broth bothers you, add a bit more flour to make it thicker.
However, as-is, it’s perfect for sopping up with thick, crusty bread.
5. Ajo Blanco
Ajo blanco – literally “white garlic” in English – is another chilled soup that tastes magnificent on a hot summer’s day.
It’s creamy and takes only 10 minutes to make, though you’ll want to put it in the fridge for a while before serving it to get the best flavor.
It has a nutty, garlic-flavored taste with just a hint of tart sweetness from the green grapes and apples you’ll add to it.
It’s ideal for serving with some kind of sweet and nutty side salad.
Mango gazpacho is similar in most ways to traditional gazpacho, but you’ll add three large mangoes, some orange juice, and a few jalapenos to it, as well.
It flawlessly combines the sweet and the savory, and the peppers also add a bit of spice and heat. It’s a healthy, vegan-friendly start to any summer meal.
If the problem you have with gazpacho is that it’s too thin, you might enjoy salmorejo instead. It’s cold and full of tomatoes and herbs, just like gazpacho.
However, it’s thicker, creamier, and much more filling, thanks in large part to the addition of ham, stale bread, and eggs.
It, too, is traditionally served in the warmer months of the year.
However, because it’s a much heartier dish, it’s usually the main course – perhaps served with a salad – instead of an opening appetizer.
If you’re a fan of pork and beans or white beans and bacon, you’ll enjoy fabada because that’s basically what it is.
It takes about 2 hours to cook, but it requires only five ingredients – white beans, ham hock, Spanish chorizo, bacon, and water – and can be left alone to cook without much help from you.
It’s packed with protein, and thanks to the beans, it’s pretty high in fiber, too.
It’s a bit calorie-heavy, though, so if you’re watching your weight, you might want to have this as an infrequent indulgence.
Spanish chickpea stew is so thick and chunky that you’ll never know it was a stew if it wasn’t right there in the name!
It’s absolutely delicious and is full of so much good stuff that it looks more like a thick taco or burrito filling than soup or stew.
In addition to the various spices you’ll use to make it, this stew also contains baby spinach, almonds, cubes of whole wheat bread, onions, chickpeas, peppers, tomato sauce, and more.
It’s rich, savory, and plenty spicy, and it tastes best served with tortillas or thick bread.
Spanish lentil soup is pretty similar to any lentil soup you’ve had anywhere else in the world.
It’s packed with fiber-rich lentils, as well as onions, tomatoes, carrots, potatoes, and more.
You’ll add all of that on top of a flavorful base of vegetable broth, garlic, olive oil, and spices.
If you aren’t concerned with keeping it vegetarian-friendly and want to add more protein, toss in some Spanish sausages, as well.
Either way, you’re sure to enjoy it.
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