Minestra Gitana

Gipsy soup   Traditional recipe from Spain

The gypsy soup is a great recipe, typical of Spanish cuisine. It is a vegan recipe that uses at the same time pumpkin, green beans, pears and chickpeas. A quite unusual meeting of flavors that is very tasty. You can make it more or less soupy depending on your own taste. Other Spanish recipes?
spanish soup with chickpeas
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Spanish gipsy soup

Ingredients / Serves 4

  • 200g (7 ounces) dried chick peas, soaked overnight
  • 200g (7 ounces) French beans (also called string or green beans)
  • 150g (5 1/3 ounces) peeled pumpkin
  • 3 pears (450g - 1 pound)
  • 2 fresh young onions, finely grated
  • 3 ripe but firm tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 10 peeled and toasted almonds
  • 1 bread slice
  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
  • 2 tablespoons red vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2.5 liters (5 1/4 pints - 10 1/2 cups) cold water
  • 1 teaspoon saffron
  • Salt
  • Pepper, if you like
  • Time:
    preparation: 30 minutes
    plus chick pea soaking time
    cooking: about 90 minutes
    total: 2 hours
  • Difficulty:
    easy recipe
  • How many calories in a serving?
    Calories: 375 (kcal) 19 % GDA (*)- 1569 (kJ)
    Protein: 15.1 (g) 21 % GDA
    Total fat: 15.6 (g) 23 % GDA
    Total carbohydrate: 46.5 (g) 18 % GDA
    Sugars: 16.4 (g) 19 % GDA

Look at infographic of nutrition facts

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Gipsy soup recipe

Preparation and cooking

  • - Drain the chick peas from their soaking water and wash under running water; then drain again.
    Pour the water (2.5 liters) into a large pan and bring to the boil over high heat.
    When the water boils, add your chick peas, lower the heat and continue cooking for about an hour.
    You have not to salt the water.
  • - Meanwhile prepare all the other vegetables.
    Remove the ends to your French beans, then wash and cut them into little pieces.
    Clean, wash and grate the onions and tomatoes.
    Cut the pumpkin into little pieces.
    At last peel the pears, quarter them, remove their core and cube their flesh.
  • - After an hour add the French beans, pumpkin and pears to the water with the chick peas.
    Stir, season to taste with salt and pepper (if you like) and continue cooking over low heat.
  • - Meanwhile prepare the sauce.
    Put the olive oil in a non-stick frying pan and fry lightly the garlic clove and bread slice on both side.
    Then remove from the pan and put apart.
    Now add the onion to the same oil.
    Let it fry lightly for few minutes, stirring, and then add the tomatoes and paprika too.
    Continue cooking, stirring now and then, for few minutes until all the ingredients flavor.
    Chop finely the fried bread slice together with almonds.
    Crush the fried garlic and add to the almond mixture.
    Melt the saffron in 2 tablespoons hot water and add it to the mixture together with the vinegar.
    Stir very well and incorporate your mixture to the onion-and-tomato sauce.
    Stir and pour into the soup.

Just before serving

  • - Season to taste with salt if necessary.
    Let your gipsy soup rest for few minutes and serve still hot.



  • - If you don't find ripe tomatoes, you can use canned peeled or chopped tomatoes. You can also use frozen French beans.
  • - What you've just read is the traditional gipsy soup recipe but I usually make this recipe with some variations because, if I can do, I don't usually fry slightly and use the olive oil away from the heat. Besides my husband and I don't like garlic, especially if crushed. We like natural and healthy recipes! So I add the onions, tomatoes and paprika a quarter of an hour after adding the French beans, pumpkin and pears to the water in which chick peas have been cooking since an hour. I substitute the fried slice of bread with toasted bread and prepare the almond mixture in the same way using 2 tablespoons dried chives instead of the fried garlic. I pour this mixture into the soup few minutes before the end of cooking. At this point I dress with the olive oil after turning off the stove. Test the dish in this way too: it's very tasty!
  • - If you want a thicker soup you can also grate the pumpkin. Another tip is to add pumpkin in great pieces and then crush with the fork once cooked.

Menu planning

  • - This soup is perfect for your family menu unless you need to plan a vegetarian dinner with friends and / or relatives. In this case, I suggest you to make your guests be able to taste it. It's worth it.
  • - I sometimes prepare this gypsy soup for my husband and me during our vegetarian days, which are at least two in the week for us. The chorus of nutritionists that motivate people not to eat too much meat now has become more and more insistent and I must admit that eating vegetarian makes us feel better immediately.
    I complete our menu with seasonal salad and fresh fruit.
    Remember that preparing meals for every day or when we have guests is very different ;)

Healthy eating

  • - If you follow the seasonality of vegetables like me it is hard to prepare this soup for long periods of time. September and October are the only months, I would say. When you find the last ripe tomatoes and green beans and the first pumpkins and pears.
    But frozen and canned products can help us: in winter we can use frozen green beans and canned chopped or peeled tomatoes.
  • - Another sore point is the excessive amount of pulses. Nutritionists recommend 30 grams per serving, certainly not 50. This is the real reason why its calories are moderately high to be a soup. Here are nutrition facts per head with only 120g dried chickpeas:
    energy: 312 kCal (1305 kJ)
    protein: 10.9g
    total fat: 14.4g
    carbo: 37.2g
    sugars: 15.6g
    fiber: 11.5g
    It is now up to you to choose what to do depending on how you want to plan your menu. If you find it one-plete meal you can increase the doses per serving and leave the amount of chickpeas as I've written in the ingredients.
  • - Fiber per portion with 50g (1 3/4 ounce) per serving: 14.2 grams


What's the right wine for " Minestra Gitana " ?

My husband and I are used to pair Rioja Sin Crianza (red, young wine from Spain). If you prefer an Italian wine, you could choose Bardolino (a red wine from Venetia).

You can find some ideas for combining this recipe with other dishes and setting up the table in the members-only area: so you'll be able to plan a Spanish dinner party!