Soup’s On: Caldo Gallego

Soup’s On:  Caldo Gallego


I think it’s safe to say that we’re solidly in December and, thanks to climate change, it’s weirdly still in the 40s temperature-wise.  I shouldn’t be complaining since my morning commute has been rather pleasant, but I really want a white Christmas, and that doesn’t happen at 40 degrees.  Anyway, despite the unseasonably warm weather, I’ve decided to make a body-warming, winter-appropriate dinner to ease back into things.  In case you haven’t noticed by now, I have a thing for soup. Today’s is a simple yet hearty one that originates from the Galicia region  in northwestern Spain.  As always, variations exist, but the basics remain the same:  turnip, potato, some sort of dark green and chorizo.  This actually reminds me of a Hungarian kolbász soup that my grandma used to make, but then again I’m sure a lot of countries have some sort of sausage peasant soup.  So here is Spain’s: Caldo Gallego.


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Caldo Gallego
Serves 4
Simple Spanish sausage and kale soup
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  1. 4 ounces pancetta, diced
  2. 1 can white kidney beans
  3. 2 links chorizo, sliced on a bias
  4. 1 onion, diced
  5. 1 potato, diced
  6. 1 turnip, diced
  7. 1 bunch kale, stripped of its tough stems and chopped
  8. 1 tsp smoked Spanish paprika
  9. 6 cups chicken broth (or water)
  10. salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Saute the pancetta until crispy in a deep soup pot. Drain excess fat
  2. Add onions to the pancetta and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the potato and turnip. Sprinkle with the paprika, salt and pepper and saute about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the beans, chorizo, kale and the broth and bring to a boil. Once at the boil, cover the pot, reduce the heat and let simmer about 20 minutes, or until the potato and turnip are tender.
  1. Buddha bit: The smoked Spanish paprika was my addition. Have you ever tried it? It's amazing stuff and well worth the addition. The smell of the spice itself is intoxicating. It's like you can taste the smell.
The Hungary Buddha Eats the World


As an accompaniment, I served pan con tomate, which is nothing more than tomatoes and garlic smeared on toasted bread, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt. So simple, so tasty. When we were in Spain, we ate this every day.  A specialty in the Cataluña region, the servers automatically brought it to the table, so if you every are lucky enough to go to Spain, don’t be fooled! You have to pay for it- it’s not like the Olive Garden.  My other disclaimer is that the garlic taste, while wonderful, is very strong.  Therefore, if you plan on eating this, make sure all of your dining companions, particularly the one you plan on kissing at some point in the next week, have some as well. Two garlic mouths cancel each other out, right?

Pan Con Tomate
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  1. Crusty bread
  2. 1-2 very ripe tomatoes
  3. 1-2 cloves garlic
  4. olive oil
  5. salt
  1. Toast the bread.
  2. Peel the garlic cloves and slice a bit off the ends and rub the cut ends over each slice of bread until the cloves are nothing more than nubs.
  3. Slice the ripe tomatoes in half across the middle. Then, using the tomato half, rub the cut side of the tomato generously onto each slice.
  4. Drizzle the olive oil and salt to taste.
The Hungary Buddha Eats the World

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