(serves 8 - 10)

This Spanish-style soup should have a very creamy texture so a starchy potato that will hold its shape after a long period of cooking is required. To achieve the creamy texture the potato must be broken not cut. To break potato plunge the handle of a dessertspoon into the potato, then put pressure on spoon to break off potato. Try specialty or organic food shops for non heat-treated dried haricot beans. Heat-treated will never go creamy.


2 bay leaves
8 parsley stalks
30ml (2 tbsp) oil
180g (1) medium onion (finely diced)
10 cloves garlic (peeled and halved)
220g (1) pig's trotter
250g (1) lamb shank
1.75 litres (7 cups) water
430g haricot beans (soaked overnight in water and drained)

250g-300g (1) large starchy potato such as Agria (peeled and broken into 3-4cm pieces)
120g chorizo sausage (cut into 5mm slices)
1 + 1/2 tsp Spanish sweet smoked paprika
2 tbsp canned or bottled piquillo peppers, or roasted red pepper (finely chopped)
2cm piece dried chilli (roughly chopped)
115g (3) tomatoes (peeled, seeded and chopped)
2 tbsp finely chopped Italian parsley leaves
flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
15ml (1 tbsp) sherry vinegar


  • Tie bay leaves and parsley stalks together.
  • Into a large, heavy-based saucepan, or cast iron casserole, set over a medium heat, pour oil and heat. Add onion, garlic, pig's trotter, lamb shank, bay leaves and parsley stalks. Cook for about 5-6 minutes or till onion and garlic are soft and lamb shank is browned on all sides.
  • Add water and drained beans. Cover with a lid and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Add potato, chorizo, paprika, peppers, chilli, tomatoes, parsley, salt and pepper, and simmer with lid on for a further 50-60 minutes till potato and beans are creamy soft.
  • Turn off heat, stir in sherry vinegar and let soup rest for 30 minutes or overnight for optimum flavour.
  • Remove pig's trotter and discard. Remove lamb shank and remove all meat. Cut meat into bite-size pieces and return to the soup. Discard the bone.
  • Remove bay leaves and parsley stalks and discard.
  • Reheat till soup is hot. Taste for seasoning and serve.