Recipe – Caldo Gallego

My immune system is failing me.  AND I’m pressed for time.  AND I have zero appetite.  So when I’m feeling under the weather and need to keep my strength, what better cure than an easy-to-prepare, hearty soup?  Most recently, I fixed up some Caldo Gallego.

Caldo Gallego is a typical soup of Galicia.  There really is no wrong way to prepare the soup; each person has their own artistic liberty with the components.  Ingredients that are consistent from variant to variant are turnip greens (or kale) and potatoes.  Some people add lard to the broth to give the soup some flavor, but I live the lie of trying to be healthy and use chorizo to flavor the broth.  (You can also use ham.)  Another variant; I like to add white fabada beans in order to get protein.

If you’re feeling under the weather, I’d definitely suggest that you (or get someone who is willing to take care of you!) make you some soup.  Here is my interpretation; I used things that I had at home.  The following should make about 6 big bowls of soup, which is perfect because I’ll get around to eating the leftovers.

To start, you’ll need  7 ounces (metric system: 200 grams) of white beans.  (I make my soup more protein-centric.  Feel free to use less.)  The night before I plan on cooking my caldo gallego, I let the beans soak in water.  12 hours should be fine.

The day of cooking, I start with 2 liters of water and continue to add water by the cup as water evaporates during the cooking process.  As soon as the water heats up, I add the beans, 5.3 ounces (150 grams) of chorizo (I like the hot kind, it makes the broth taste the best!), and cubed potatoes (3 small potatoes is fine for me).  Cover the pot and stir occasionally.

While you’re waiting for the beans and potatoes to cook, get two cloves of garlic, dice the cloves up, and brown in olive oil in a small pan.

As soon as I see that the beans are softening up, I add a whole head of kale leaves and the garlic.  I stir everything in and give the soup another 15 minutes or so.

Eating and powernapping - sounds like the perfect cure.

Then it is time to enjoy my soup before it’s time to re-pack the suitcase…

Have you had caldo gallego before?  If so, what are your favorite ingredients to include?  Even if you haven’t had caldo gallego before, isn’t soup a great cold weather food?  Leave me a comment and let me know (techniques to fight a cold are also welcome!).

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