Peruvian Mushroom & Broad Bean Soup (Kapchi de Setas)

Ingredients

  • 200g potatoes, in quarters or one inch chunks
  • 600g broad beans, shelled (shelled weight 100-150g)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp panca chilli paste (2 dried panca chilies) Or use some chilli flakes to your taste
  • 250-300g mushrooms, half chopped, half quartered
  • 125ml full-fat milk
  • 1 tbsp huacatay (a type of Peruvian black mint) or a few leaves each of coriander, tarragon and parsley, finely chopped
  • A few mint leaves, finely chopped
  • 70g queso fresco or feta, crumbled

Method

For the panca chilli paste, cover the dried chillies in water and soak for 2 hours. Drain, then blitz with a stick blender, add salt to taste and set aside until needed.

Put the new potatoes in a saucepan and cover with water. Salt the water, then put the pan over a high heat and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 8–10 minutes until just tender. Drain the potatoes and set aside.

Bring a small saucepan of water to the boil over a high heat. Add the broad beans and blanch for 2 minutes, then drain. If the broad beans are particularly large, you may want to peel off the bitter, outer skins (if they are small and tender, there’s no need to do this). Set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large, deep-sided frying pan or casserole. Add the onion and sauté over a medium heat for 10 minutes until soft and translucent. Add the garlic and chilli paste and cook for a further 2–3 minutes until the chilli paste starts to separate. Set aside.

Heat the remaining oil in a large frying pan. Add the mushrooms with a generous pinch of salt and sauté over a medium heat for 5–6 minutes until any liquid they release has evaporated and the mushrooms are softened and glossy. You may have to do this in more than one batch – if so, use the olive oil accordingly. Add the potatoes and broad beans to the onion mixture, then add the milk. Put the pan or casserole back over a medium heat and simmer for 10 minutes until everything is heated through. Add most of the huacatay or herb mixture and the mint, then the cooked mushrooms and finally the cheese. Stir everything together and simmer for 4–5 minutes more until the cheese is slightly softened. Serve immediately in bowls with the remainder of the chopped herbs.