Garbanzo bean soup is a staple soup from my hometown, Tampa, Fla. When I was young, I would accompany my father to the Columbia Restaurant or La Teresita Restaurant and dig into a big bowl of this soup with some toasted Cuban bread. I recently found the recipe of Richard Gonzmart, owner of the Columbia Restaurant Group, for this famous soup on the internet. But I decided to make it kosher, so I can enjoy it in my home. Five things are needed to make this soup well: garbanzos, chorizo, facon (beef bacon), saffron, and paprika.
Luckily, there’s Jack’s Gourmet kosher chorizo and kosher beef bacon/facon. What I did change was to replace the 2 quarts of water to 1 quart of low-sodium chicken broth and 1 quart of water.
Here is the recipe:
½ pound dry garbanzo beans (aka chickpeas)
1 tablespoon salt
1 quart low-sodium chicken broth (I use a kosher brand)
1 quart water
½ medium onion, chopped
2 or 3 Yukon potatoes, chopped
3 strips facon (beef bacon)
Pinch of saffron
1 teaspoon paprika
1 or 2 kosher chorizo
In a 4-quart pot, soak garbanzo beans overnight, or at least six hours in water, covering the beans, and 1 tablespoon salt. Drain and rinse the beans in a colander. In the same pot, boil garbanzo beans in 1 quart of chicken stock and 1 quart of water for 45 minutes on medium high heat, skimming the foam that forms on the top. In the meantime, fry up the bacon and set aside. Keep the bacon grease to sauté the onions to translucent, slightly caramelized. Peel and chop up the potatoes to 1-inch size. After boiling the garbanzos for 45 minutes, put the bacon, onions, potatoes, pinch of saffron and teaspoon of paprika into the pot. Boil until potatoes are soft, then add sliced chorizo(s), depending on how spicy you want the soup. Serve and enjoy!