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Widow beans

Literal translation of the Spanish name. It is a bean soup with no meat or sausage at all. Flavoring the beans is a challenge.


2 c beans (white beans such as Cannellini beans, measured dry and soaked)
1 hd garlic (small head, whole, skin on, washed)
1 lf bay leaf
1 t paprika (sweet paprika)
  seasoning (salt to taste, pepper if you must)


  1. Drain the water from the soaked beans, wash and drain again before cooking.
  2. Place the beans in a large pan together with the garlic head, bay leaf, olive oil and paprika. Cover with water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 45-60 minutes or until the beans are tender. Add liquid if the water evaporates too fast.
  3. Add the potato when the beans begin to soften.
  4. Season at the end, when the beans are almost done.
  5. Mash some of the cooked beans and mix them with the liquid to thicken the soup.
  6. Serve warm.
Total time
1 hour, 45 minutes
Cooking time
Preparation time
6 servings


Soak beans for 6-8 hours, or overnight.

Cooking time depends on the kind of beans used. A pressure cooker would cut this time by half to two thirds.

Add other vegetables - such as peeled carrot, whole bell pepper o whole tomato.

Leftovers? Puree any leftovers and use them the folowing day, or freeze them for another meal. A sieve would help removing skin or seeds, if bell pepper or tomatoes were added.

Re-heat and serve the bean puree with croutons or fried bread.


As this recipe takes time, it is worth to cook double amount of beans and reserve half for other meal. 

Spanish cuisine

easy, simmer
beans & pulses, dinner
Spanish food recipes
Food in Europe