Caldo Gallego

Galician White Bean Soup

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Serves

    6

    as a main course

Appears in

Many of the Spanish settlers who immigrated to Cuba between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries were from the province of Galicia. Caldo gallego is a hearty peasant dish that remains popular in Cuba today.

If you have a pressure cooker, you may use it instead of the Dutch oven to speed up the cooking; see the instructions in the recipe for Frijoles Negros (Classic Cuban-Style Black Beans).

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dried white beans
  • 7 ounces sliced Spanish chorizo
  • 2 cups (1 large) chopped white onion
  • cups (1 large) chopped green bell pepper
  • 3 or 4 large cloves garlic, peeled and minced or pressed
  • 1 smoked ham hock
  • 1 quart chicken or beef broth
  • 1 bunch (about ½ pound) collard greens
  • 3 red potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • Salt to taste

Method

Rinse the beans under cold running water and place them in a saucepan with enough water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil over high heat. Boil the beans for about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let the beans soak in the water overnight.

In a large Dutch oven over medium-low heat, cook the chorizo, stirring often, until it begins to render its fat. Remove the chorizo with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the onion and bell pepper to the drippings and cook, stirring, until the onion is translucent and beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. Drain the beans and add them to the pot. Add the garlic, ham hock, broth, and 2 to 3 quarts water. Cover the pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until the beans are tender, 1½ to 3 hours, depending upon the altitude at which you are cooking.

Meanwhile, rinse the collard greens thoroughly with cold water and drain. Remove and discard the tough stems, and tear the leaves into small pieces; set aside. When the beans are tender, add the chorizo, collard greens, and potatoes. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are tender. If necessary, add a little additional broth or water to the pot. If it seems like there is too much liquid, cook uncovered until it is reduced to your liking.