Picture taken with cameraphone. Does not look so appetizing.

I made this soup today. Very good. And the eggplant salad side dish. Good as well. So homey. Nothing finely cut, julienned. It is a big, familiar warm embrace of a soup. All you do is wash, cut and boil everything for a few minutes and, tapos!, you have a hearty meal! Did I say I liked this soup already?

Next time I will remember to crack the peppercorns; it interferes with the eating otherwise.

For the soup:

1.5 to 2 lbs. beef short ribs
1 to 2 pcs. chorizo (de bilbao), sliced
water, about 6 cups
1 to 2 tbsps salt
1/2 a head of garlic
1 large onion, sliced
2-3 stalks green onions, sliced
1 tbsp. peppercorns, cracked
laurel leaves, 2-3
1/2 cabbage, chunky slices
2 potatoes
a can of chickpeas or garbanzos
1/2 lbs green beans
1 ripe sweet plantain, boiled, peeled and sliced

For the eggplant salad:

2 eggplants
salt and pepper
2-4 garlic cloves
white vinegar

1. Fill a pot with water. Add beef, chorizo, 1 tbsp salt, 1 tbsp peppercorn, laurel leaves, garlic, green onions and onion and bring to a boil.

2. After 20 minutes or when the meat has cooked, add cabbage, potatoes, chickpeas and green beans. Simmer until the vegetables are done. Add the boiled sweet plantains to soup.

To Make the eggplant salad: Grill eggplants. When they are cool enough to handle, scoop out or separate the meat from the skin and mash in a bowl. Mix in garlic, salt and pepper. Drizzle with vinegar. Refrigerate and serve cold.