Coca de Fira

Coca de fira
Coca de fira, London version

“Coques” (singular: coca), in Valencian, are an entire division of “flat breads” typical from the area. They’re sometimes called “tortas” in Spanish, but most commonly referred to as “cocas”.

There are many versions: sweet or savoury, subtle or brutal. They’re often very seasonal: there are cocas for specific times of the year, festivities and events. They can also vary a lot between regions; seasonings and toppings might combine to make a very different result from what you’re used to, even if the base or the appearance are very similar.

Coca de Fira is traditionally eaten during the annual fair (fira, in Valencian) in my hometown. It is a really substantial dish, and a serving can keep you going for a long time, so it’s very suitable for browsing the goods on display and haggling for hours! (specially when November turns out to be cold, which happens from time to time).

This year marks the 600th anniversary of the fair, and my mum was telling me about all the celebrations she was attending to mark the occasion, and how of course they were celebrating with Coca de Fira. I got “a bit” jealous and so I decided to bake my own.

It is a bit difficult to achieve the exact coca you would get if you were in my hometown, because their cured meat has a very particular flavour provided by the seasoning, and also because they use a special type of mushrooms that I’ve never seen in London, but in the best spirit of the dish, I focused on getting a good base, and replaced ingredients with the closest I could get. And the result made me incredibly happy!

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Onion, potato and mushroom soup

Here’s a very easy recipe which looks a bit ugly but tastes great! And it also helps you use “old” ingredients. So all good stuff 👌🏼

Ingredients

  • Onions
  • Potatoes
  • Mushrooms
  • Butter
  • Pepper
  • Salt

Preparation

  1. Peel the potatoes and the onions
  2. Wash the mushrooms to remove any soil on them
  3. Chop and slice everything into small pieces so they cook fast!
  4. Put the potatoes and onions first in a pot, cover with water and then add more water, until it’s about 1 cm above it
  5. Bring to a boil, then leave it to simmer for about 30 minutes
  6. Add the mushrooms and simmer for a further 30 minutes or until the potatoes start to dissolve
  7. This is more or less how it looks like (not pretty but you get the idea!)
  8. When things look cooked, turn the heat off.
  9. Add some butter, to taste (I recommend you use unsalted butter).
  10. Use a hand blender to make it into a liquid soup, not a soup with floating things 😏
  11. Serve!

I suggest you taste the soup and correct for salt now. And maybe add some pepper!

You can also cut some bacon in strips, fry it and add it on top of the soup. Or you could serve with some toasted bread. I think it could also work nicely with roasted pine nuts.

This soup also works really well as a packed lunch.