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Recipes from Andalucia

By Tracey Roberts

Vegetarian Paella

Paella is traditionally a summer dish, best eaten at a chiringuito accompanied by a cold white wine. That does not mean you cannot eat it at other times. It's one of those dishes that you can enjoy sat in front of the television on a cold winter's evening. Try it this weekend.

Once you have this simple, basic recipe for paella cracked then feel free to add other ingredients, look for crispy veg such as carrots, try fresh green pencil beans or broad beans instead of peas, leeks instead of onion. Chickpeas work as well.

The only thing I ask is that, unless you are allergic or cannot stand the taste, please use saffron, not tumeric. Those bright yellow affairs you see at some places are about as far away from a traditional paella as it is possible to get.

Vegetarian Paella

Preparation Time: 10 mins Cooking Time: 30 mins Total Time: 40 mins
Serves: 4 Difficulty: Easy Suitable for: Vegans


  • 2 tbsp: olive oil
  • 2: medium onions, sliced
  • 4: cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1: green pepper, cored and diced
  • 1: red pepper, cored and diced
  • 1: cup of frozen peas
  • 2: tomatoes, chopped
  • 1: tsp paprika
  • a good pinch: of saffron threads dissolved in 500ml: vegetable stock
  • 200gm: paella rice
  • ground black pepper
  • as much as you like


1. Heat the oil in a paella pan or large non-stick frying pan. Add the onions and garlic, cover and cook for  about 5 minutes until soft. Then add the peppers and peas, stir in, cover again and cook for a few more minutes.

2. Make a well in the centre, put the tomatoes in the well and the paprika on top.

3. Stir in the rice to coat well so it forms an even layer, then add 400ml stock and the saffron and soaking water. Simmer vigorously for 10 minutes then reduce the heat to a slow simmer. Cook for about ten minutes – if the dish looks very dry before the rice has cooked completely then add the rest of the stock, bearing in mind it shouldn’t be at all soupy.

4. Season with pepper and stir.

5. Stir in the parsley a few minutes before it has finished cooking, if you want to use it, then serve hot. It’s also pretty nice cold and should keep for a few days in the fridge.