I was going to call this Spanish Taco Soup but my husband quickly pointed out that they don’t eat tacos in Spain. In fact, tortilla in Spain is an ENTIRELY different thing than tortilla in Mexico. The Spanish version is more akin to a frittata than the corn/flour tortillas you find South of the border.
Alright, now that we have that out of the way lets move on to this soup because if I do say so myself, it is darn tasty.
I like to learn about different cultures through their food. I’m lucky enough to live in a city where I can find international ingredients, so that makes it easy to travel the world right in my kitchen. I haven’t tried my hands at many Spanish dishes and I thought it was high time that I did.
I can’t say this is authentically Spanish, but I did try to use traditional Spanish flavors to make this soup. Will you find it on the streets of Spain anytime soon? Probably (most definitely) not. Is it something different than you’ve tasted before? I’ll bet it is. Because we’re all very familiar with Mexican food/dishes, it’s easy to think we know Spanish food too. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. They are two very different countries (on two different continents) that have their own unique flair when it comes to food. And the Spaniards know what they’re doing when it comes to food.
Here is my pro tip for you guys: Make a ginormous batch of this on Sunday night then freeze some and pack some of it up for lunches for the week. This is one of those recipes that gets better the longer it sits. Unless you let it sit in the fridge for like two months. I would suggest throwing that away and not eating it 😉
Spanish Olive & Tomato Soup
- 1/2 pound ground pork OR non-meat crumbles (this or this version will work)
- 1-2 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 cup broccoli stems, optional*
- 1 can fire roasted tomatoes, NOT drained
- 1/2 cup Manzanilla olives, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup Hojiblanca olives OR Kalamata olives, roughly chopped**
- 1/2 cup onions, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
- 1 jalapeno, diced (seeds removed if you want less of a kick)
- 2 tsp Mexican oregano OR regular oregano
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 4-5 cups veggie or chicken broth
- 1-2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
* I know, weird ingredient but I had some leftover and they worked surprisingly well in this soup
** I found both Manzanilla and Hojiblanca olives at the olive bar at my local grocery store. You can check Whole Foods and Trader Joes, as well, as they sometimes have a good selection of olives.
- If you’re using cauliflower crumbles, go ahead and make those now. If you’re using ground pork, heat a Dutch oven or large soup pot over medium-high with a little olive oil. Add the ground pork and break it up with a spatula. Add the chili powder, cumin, and a little salt and pepper. Cook until no longer pink and move to a plate lined with a paper towel.
- In the same skillet you used for the pork, add the onions, broccoli stems (if using), and bell peppers. Saute for about five minutes then add the garlic and jalapeno. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper and saute for another minute or two.
- Add the Mexican (or regular) oregano and stir to cover. Add the cooked pork or cauliflower crumbles and stir one more time. Add the olives and stir everything together.
- Add the diced tomatoes, smoked paprika, and the broth. Bring to a low boil, lower to a simmer, cover and cook for about 20 minutes.
- Serve with a sprinkle of fresh parsley if you want. Enjoy!