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Basque Leek & Vegetable Soup Recipe - Porrusalda


Basque Leek & Vegetable Soup Recipe - Porrusalda

Basque Leek & Vegetable Soup Recipe - Porrusalda

(c) Lisa Sierra 2013 Licensed to About.com Inc.

Depending on the region, Spaniards may eat soup year round. In the north of Spain, where the winters are long and cold, and summers are short and can be rather cool, soup is often eaten as a first course most every day. Therefore, there is a big variety of soups and stews, including vegetables, fish and meat.

Porrusalda is a traditional Basque soup recipe, which simply means "leek broth" in Basque. However, it is much more than just leeks, and has onions, carrots and potatoes swimming in a rich chicken broth. Serve hot as a first course in Fall or Winter.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 4-6 Servings


  • 1 chicken carcass or 2 chicken bouillon cubes
  • 4 cups water
  • 6 leeks
  • 3 potatoes
  • 1 yellow or white onion
  • 2 large carrots
  • olive oil
  • 2-3 sprigs flat leaf parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste


First make the broth. If using a chicken carcass, you may use a pressure cooker or a pot:

  • Pressure Cooker: Place it in a pressure cooker with 4 cups of water (or enough to cover the carcass), parsley and a pinch of salt. Place on high heat. Once the pressure is high, cook 5 minutes and allow pressure to drop.(Depending on the type of cooker, you may be able to run cold water over your pressure cooker to reduce pressure rapidly. Check manufacturer's directions.)
  • Pot: Place the chicken carcass in a pot with 4 cups of water, parsley and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and skim any foam off top. Reduce to medium heat and cook for 30 minutes, adding water if needed.

Remove the carcass from the water and discard. Strain the broth using a sieve or cheese cloth, then return to the pot.

If using bouillon cubes, heat 4 cups of water in a large pot over high heat on stove. Cut each bouillon cube into four pieces and add to the hot water. Stir until dissolved.

Prepare the vegetables. Peel and finely chop the onion. Clean any dirt or debris from the leeks and chop into pieces approximately 1 1/2 inches long. Peel carrots and potatoes and cut into 1-inch pieces.

Pour 1-2 tablespoons olive oil into a large frying pan and heat on medium. Saute onions in pan until translucent. Add onions, leeks, carrots and potatoes to the broth and simmer for approximately 20 minutes. Adjust salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot as a first course.

Variation: Sometimes a small piece of salt cod, called bacalao is added to the broth. If salt cod is to be added, it must first be soaked in water overnight to leach out excess salt.

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