I have an unconditional, soul-shaking love for Federico García Lorca. I first discovered him during a Spanish class where we read “Sleepwalking Ballad” (the “green, I want you, green…” one) and instantly lost my heart to the enigmatic Spanish poet. I own everything he’s ever written, including rare, out of print letters and two biographies. I’ve read his obscure first play, The Butterfly’s Evil Spell. The spine of my complete collected poems is broken so that it opens to In the Garden of Lunar Grapefruits, I’ve read it so many times. When the movie Little Ashes was first released, I flew to Chicago to see it. By myself. When I hear Van Morrison’s “Into the Mystic”, I have impure thoughts about rocking his gypsy soul, even though he’s dead—murdered by Spanish facists—and gay.
You might call it an obsession.
I’ve written about my love for Lorca and my trip to see an exhibit on his life and art at the New York Public Library.
I feel the same way about this soup from The New Moosewood Cookbook. They call it gypsy soup, and it makes me think of theatre for the people and olive trees, goblins and the moon. With hints of cinnamon, this soup is a sensually satisfying meal.
This is an incredibly versatile dish because you can substitute any vegetable with whatever you have on hand. Use half sweet potato and half carrots, or use squash. If you prefer green beans, substitute those for the green pepper. Mix and match green and orange vegetables—the spices are what make this a distinct soup.
Inspired by the New Moosewood Cookbook
- 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
- 2 T olive oil
- 2 c onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, rushed
- 1 stalk celery, diced
- 2 c sweet potato, peeled and diced (can use carrots, squash, or pumpkin)
- 1 t salt
- 2 t mild paprika
- 1 t turmeric
- 2 t basic
- dash cinnamon
- dash cayenne
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 c water or vegetable broth
- 1 bell pepper, diced (can substitute or add green beans)
- 1 can garbanzo beans
Heat olive oil in Dutch oven. Add onion, garlic, celery, and sweet potato. Saute over medium heat for 5 minutes.
Add salt, saute 5 minutes. Add spices and water or broth, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.
Add tomatoes, peppers, and garbanzo beans. Cover and simmer 1o minutes, or until all vegetables are tender. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Add spices and water or broth, simmer 15 minutes.
Add canned tomatoes, belle pepper, and garbanzo beans. Coer and simmer for 10 more minutes until vegetables are tender. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve warm.