When we were living in the Basque Country, we discovered the bean dish, pochas. It was a kind of bean soup, made with semi-dried beans, from that year’s harvest. I have looked up the recipe for this and it varies widely. Most recipes use a sofrito of finely chopped vegetables, often onion, carrots, peppers and garlic. A quartered tomato is added to this fried reduction and sometimes all of these vegetables are then either strained all pureed . I couldn't be bothered with that and I also wanted to use my borlotti bean and courgette harvest and some home-made chicken stock I had, so this is my interpretation of pochas.
Ingredients For Pochas (for 2 people)
A cup or two of beans harvested from dried pods
One small courgette for the sofrito (or use a green pepper) and one to add at the end (or a chopped red pepper)
2 garlic cloves
250 ml chicken stock (or use vegetable, or water)
paprika, salt and pepper
Dice the carrot, onion, courgette and garlic cloves and fry in olive oil on a low heat until soft. Quarter the tomato, add to the sofrito and cook until it begins to break apart. Stir well, or puree if you can be bothered. Add the beans and stock and top up with water until the beans are just covered. Simmer for 45 minutes, or stick in the oven at 180°C degrees centigrade for the same amount of time. Add the other finely-chopped courgette and a teaspoon of paprika (picante or dulce, hot or not) and cook for a further 15 minutes. Add salt and pepper to season before serving with bread and guindillas (mild spicy green peppers). If you have a meat tooth (like the boyf), you can add a few slices of chorizo that have been warmed in a pan.
It wasn’t exactly as I remembered it in the restaurants in Spain, but it was good!