Vegetarian Paella

A Spanish dish adapted for vegetarians.  You can vary the vegetables a bit but the smoked paprika is a must for an authentic flavour. Serves 6-8 people.

Vegetarian Paella

5 Tbsp Olive Oil

1 Large Spanish (red) Onion, finely chopped

1 red and 1 yellow capsicum, cut into strips

1 Fennel Bulb, cut into strips

4 Garlic cloves, crushed or chopped

4 Bay Leaves

1 Tsp Smoked Paprika

1 Tsp Ground Turmeric

1/2 Tsp Cayenne Pepper

450g Calasparra Rice (or medium grain rice)

200ml Medium Sherry

1 Tsp Saffron threads (omit if too expensive)

1 litre and 350ml Vegetable stock or water

400g Shelled Broad Beans (fresh or frozen)

20 Mini Plum tomatoes, halved

8 Artichoke Hearts (tinned/ in a jar) quartered

20 Pitted Kalamata Olives or green olives, halved

3 Tbsp Chopped Flat Leaf Parsley

1 Lemon, cut into wedges

Prepare all the vegetables as per ingredients list.

Heat the olive oil in a paella pan or large shallow frying pan. Gently fry the onion for 5 minutes.

Add the capsicums and fennel and continue to fry on a medium heat for 6 minutes more.

Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute.

Add bay leaves, paprika, turmeric and cayenne powder. Stir in the rice well for 2 minutes.  Now add the sherry and saffron. Reduce down for a minute then add the stock and ½ Tsp salt.

Reduce heat to minimum and simmer very gently for about 20 minutes or until most of the liquid has been absorbed by the rice. Do not cover the pan or stir during this cooking.

Whilst the paella is cooking away, put the broad beans in a bowl and pour over some boiling water. After 1 minute , drain and leave to cool. Slip the skin off each bean by gently squeezing with your fingers.

Scatter the broad beans, tomatoes and artichokes over the rice and cover the pan tightly with foil. Leave to rest for 10 minutes.

Take off the foil and scatter olives on top of the paella. Sprinkle with parsley. Serve with lemon wedges.