This week we have a warming but light easy Spanish recipe for you – Sopa de Calamares al laurel (squid and bay leaf soup). Before I moved to Spain, I had only ever had calamari grilled and fried… be that deep-fried in batter (sacrilege!) or whizzed on a plancha. Of course now we cook it in a multitude of ways… but recently I discovered the joy of cooking it slowly – and it’s wonderful! If you like calamares but are worried about it being chewy when cooking it yourself – then this is the recipe for you. It is seriously easy… so have a go and let us know how you get on.
Ingredients (Serves 4 – or 2 if you are as greedy as I am)
- 1 kilo of calamari. If fresh, you need to clean and slice into rings… but it is also just as easy to keep a bag of frozen calamari rings in the freezer and defrost them under cold running water when needed.
- 1 large onion, sliced or chopped very finely
- 400g tin of chopped tomatoes – or 2 to 3 large tomatoes, peeled and chopped
- 3 to 4 cloves of garlic (I use 6… but I do love my garlic!)
- 4 to 6 laurel leaves (dependant upon size). These are “bay” leaves if you can’t find laurel
- Pinch of saffron if you can get it – but don’t panic if not
- Black pepper and smoked paprika if you like
- Bottle of dry white wine – that’s a glass for the recipe, and the rest for the chef!
- Olive oil for shallow frying
- Drizzle a little olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat and throw the onion in. Sweat in gently for a few minutes until it is translucent
- Now toss in your garlic
- Chuck in the laurel leaves (and saffron if you have it)
- Keep cooking and stirring until the onions are soft
- Now chuck in the calamari and tomatoes
- Turn up the heat a little and keep stirring for around 5 minutes until the calamari is fairly firm. Don’t panic – it won’t be rubbery when it’s finished.
- Now pour in that glass of wine if you have any left… or open another bottle if not… and 2 to 3 glasses of water, depending on how much liquid you’d like with your soup
- Pop a lid on the top of the saucepan… turn the heat really really low and ignore it for about 3/4 of an hour
- It is done when the calamari is tender to the bite.
- Serve hot with a spinkle of freshly cracked black pepper and/or a pinch or two of pimenton on top
You can serve it with plenty of crusty bread of you like… or some thin lightly toasted bread. I like to very finely slice a fresh red chilli – seeds an’ all… and sprinkle a little of that on top when serving… but then Alan and I love our spicy food.
Do you have a Spanish recipe that you would like us to find? Then drop us an email and consider it done.
Elle, along with Alan, is the owner of Spain Buddy and the busy web design business – Spain Web Design by Gandy-Draper.
Born a “Norverner”, she then spent most of her life “Dann Saff” before moving to Spain in 2006. Elle’s loves are Alan, the internet, dogs, good food, and dry white wine – although not necessarily in that order.