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Food with love: Summer Vegetable Paella (vegan)

Anyone fancy summer on a plate? That’s pretty much what you get with this colourful, tasty, and healthy dish! Whether you’ve just finished a busy weekend on call, enjoying a well-earned day off, or are feeling a bit peckish after your recent yoga session (See the Postures page for inspiration!- VY), you’ll feel like you’re basking in the Spanish sun as the beautiful aromas from this dish fill your kitchen.

As mentioned below, my cooking heroine Rosie has adapted this dish to put her own Lickthespoonblog twist on it, so if you enjoy it be sure to check out her other recipes.

“I love how summer just wraps its arms around you like a warm blanket.” – Kellie Elmore

From Rosie, with love:

This paella is wonderfully deep and redolent with the saffron. It’s a really sociable recipe to cook and chat with someone in the kitchen, and had the bonus of  a perfect time spot whilst waiting for the rice to absorb the liquid to share a glass of wine! (And maybe another whilst waiting during the final 10 minutes).

This recipe is tweaked from one by Yotam Ottolenghi in his book ‘Plenty’. In fact Mr Ottolenghi is a great source of inspiration for vegetable based dishes and a lot can be adapted to become vegan.

Adapt the recipe to accommodate the vegetables you have to hand. I used runner beans here as I am still wading through all those I have in my garden, but if you don’t like them then take frozen broad beans, pour over boiling water, leave for a moment and double pod. Or if that’s too much of a faff use defrosted frozen peas! If you don’t like any heat omit the cayenne and double up on the smoked paprika.



Ingredients (serves 3-4)

  • 3tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 large red pepper, cut into strips
  • 1 fennel bulb, cut into strips or 3 chopped celery stalks
  • 2 chopped garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne or hot smoked paprika
  • 150g paella rice (calasparra) or you can use risotto rice if that is all you have
  • 100ml medium sherry or I use good old Harvey’s Bristol Cream
  • Large pinch of saffron
  • 450 boiling vegetable stock (if not fresh make up with marigold bouillon as I do!)
  • 200g beans (either sliced runner beans, blanched or double-podded broad beans) fresh or frozen
  • 12 cherry tomatoes
  • 6 chargrilled artichokes from a jar
  • Handful halved kalamata olives
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • Lemon wedges





  1. Heat oil in paella/frying pan and gently fry onions for 5 mins ’til soft. Add peppers and fennel (or celery) and continue to fry for another 5 mins.
  2. Add garlic, bay leaves (lightly crushed in your hand to release flavour) paprika, turmeric and cayenne and stir well.
  3. Add rice and coat and toast in the mix for 2 mins.  This step makes a real difference to the finished dish.
  4. Add sherry and saffron and reduce down for a minute before adding a large pinch of salt.
  5. Stir and then turn down heat so mixture barely simmers. Don’t stir, and leave 20 mins so liquid is absorbed by the rice. This allows the dish to form a crust on the bottom which is highly prized by the Spanish.
  6. Remove paella from heat. Adjust seasoning to taste.
  7. Without stirring scatter over tomatoes, artichokes, olives and beans.  Cover tightly with foil and leave to rest and heat through for 10 mins.
  8. When ready to serve take off foil, scatter over olives and parsley and serve with lemon wedges.


Tuck in!

3 thoughts on “Food with love: Summer Vegetable Paella (vegan)”

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