Adelaide made this soup for us on a live Zoom session in October 2020 as part of our Black History Month series celebrating the cooking of Black cultures.
“This soup was taught to me by my Auntie Eva who is a great cook. In Angola, girls are taught to cook from as early as the age of five, where they are encouraged to stay in the kitchen to watch the elders cook, as a way of gaining early culinary skills needed for future life skills needed to be able to support the family home. In which it is particularly important in my culture for women to know how to cook. So, from the age of 10, my Aunty Eva encouraged me and my two sisters (Elisa and Jurama) to help out in the kitchen such as chopping onions, peeling garlic, potatoes, etc as part of the basic skills required in learning how to cook.
“Bean soup or sopa de feijoa (Portuguese translation) is a soup that can be served as a full dish if you incorporate rice and pasta due to the fact that it is so filling. It can also be served as a starter if you do not add spaghetti or rice. Sopa de feijoa is traditionally cooked with meat and chorizo. I created this vegetarian version to make it more healthy, as a way of broadening my creativity to create healthier meals to live a healthier lifestyle.”
Here’s how to make this soup if you would like to give it a try:
100g of dried rosecoco (borlotti) beans soaked overnight (or 1 tin, although Adelaide says dried taste best!)
3 tomatoes, chopped
1 small cabbage, shredded
200g of pasta or rice
1 tablespoon of vegetable/sunflower/olive oil
2 onions, chopped
2 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
Few sprigs of fresh thyme
3 garlic cloves, chopped
Wash the beans and place them in a pan with water, then put the pan on a stove and let the beans cook. This should take around an hour.
Once the beans are cooked mash the beans using the cooking water to form a puree. Once the beans are all mashed, use a sieve to separate the puree from the mashed bean skin, and place the bean puree in a pan.
Then add chopped onions, chopped garlic, chopped cabbage, chopped tomatoes, chopped carrots, potatoes (optional), bay leaves, thyme (optional). Add more water if needed.
Add a dessert spoon of olive, and a teaspoon of salt and pepper.
Allow the soup to boil for at least 1 hour, before adding a handful of pasta and rice (optional), then let the soup cook in medium heat for another 30 minutes to allow the soup to simmer.
Once the pasta and rice are cooked, the soup is ready to serve.