Smith & Daughters
Bonnie Savage

Sure, you’ve had paella before, but this happens to be Shan’s Gran’s fifth (maybe more) generation recipe and the story of the distance it has travelled is really quite amazing. Shannon’s family, originally from Andalusia, Spain, responded to an ad on the front page of the local newspaper calling for Europeans to move to Australia – only tradespeople of specific skill need apply. Shannon’s granddad studied for two years to become a boilermaker. He graduated just in time as the very last Europeans were allowed to emigrate. ­They arrived in Darwin, five kids in tow. Now, compared to the luscious Andalusia, it was just red dirt as far as the eye could see, and while the end of this story is what you have here, you can be sure they were thinking ‘where are we and what have we done’?! If they knew their descendants would use this well-loved and travelled recipe to make vegan paella, they may have had the same reaction – what have we done?! ­That being said, you can add anything to this paella – prawns, sausage, squid, seasonal veg. Just cook separately and add to the paella at the end.


Quantity Ingredient
1.25 litres chicken or vegetable stock
1 large pinch saffron threads
60ml olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 green capsicum, diced
1/2 red capsicum, diced
1 teaspoon fine salt
2 tomatoes, tinned or fresh, diced, (only use fresh if tomatoes are in season)
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
400g bomba or medium-grain rice
185g podded broad beans or substitute peas
cooked seasonal veg, such as asparagus and peas in spring or pumpkin and olives in winter


Quantity Ingredient
lemons, cut into wedges
extra-virgin olive oil
sea salt flakes
flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped


  1. Place the stock in a medium-sized saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and drop in the saffron. Set aside to infuse for at least 5 minutes. You will see the stock turn bright yellow.
  2. Heat the oil in a 30 cm – or slightly larger – paella pan or ovenproof casserole dish over low heat. Add the onion, capsicum and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes, until the vegetables are very soft and almost jammy. Add the tomato and garlic and cook for a further 15 minutes or until the sauce becomes thick.
  3. Add the paprikas and stir to combine, then add the rice and broad beans and coat with the sauce. Cook for 1–2 minutes, or until the rice begins to turn translucent.
  4. Preheat the oven to 150°C.
  5. Pour the stock over the rice and turn up the heat to high. Stir to make sure the rice is evenly spread across the pan, then simmer for exactly 5 minutes. Do not stir.
  6. Transfer the paella to the oven and cook for 12–15 minutes until the liquid has been absorbed.
  7. Remove from the oven and stir through the cooked seasonal veg. Cover the pan with a clean tea towel and set aside for 5 minutes.
  8. Place lemon wedges sporadically but evenly throughout the paella, drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt flakes and chopped parsley.
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