The Spanish are not very good at cooking vegetables. All too often you get a horrible stir-fry of frozen mixed vegetables including Brussels sprouts, carrots, onions, swede and God knows what else - limp, flavourless, invariably cold and swimming in water. Curious because it doesn’t half bugger up a perfectly cooked Dover sole! Spain does produce splendid vegetables but they are used to prepare dishes or soups, not as an adjunct to a piece of meat or a piece of fish, and are served as a meal in their own right. So, here’s a good one. This will probably serve 4 to 6 people. I should point out that it is basically a dish of beans in tomato sauce with fresh vegetables added, so you could choose celery instead of artichoke hearts and spinach or chard instead of, or as well as, asparagus.
Soak the white beans in cold water overnight, then drain and put in a pan with one of the chopped onions and the parsley sprigs. Cover with water, bring to the boil and cook until almost tender. Drain, remove the parsley sprigs and set the beans aside.
Fry the remaining onions and the tomatoes in olive oil, then add the garlic and season with salt and pepper. Stir in the ground cumin and cook for a couple of minutes until you have a bit of a paste. Now add the white beans, a bit more olive oil, the chopped parsley, bay leaves and the vegetables. Barely cover with vegetable stock or water - If you have cooked the artichokes yourself, use that liquid instead. Cook gently for about 15 minutes or so, until all the vegetables are tender, then carefully crack open the eggs and poach them in the vegetables.
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