Caldo Gallego (Galician Broth) Recipe

Caldo Gallego is a typical Galician dish that becomes one of the favourites during the coldest months of the year. The recipe for this soup varies according to the area or family that prepares it, as it allows you to incorporate the ingredients that you have at home. However, the grelos (rapini), potatoes, navy beans and unto (leaf lard) can not be missing. It is also very common to incorporate meat such as chorizo, lacón (dried ham) or bacon. A dish that provides all the energy needed to face the winter.

Regarding the origin of Caldo gallego, it appears written for the first time in 1889, in the work with the same name by Juan Neira Cancela. At first it was an almost vegetarian broth prepared with the vegetables available in rural Galicia (grelos, cabbage or turnip greens), to which beans and unto were added. Later on, chorizo and other meat products were incorporated, which showed an economic improvement in the area.

Ingredients for the Caldo Gallego:

  • 250 g of navy beans
  • 50 g of unto (pork fat)
  • 4 large potatoes
  • 1 chorizo sausage
  • Lacón (a piece)
  • Bacon (one piece)
  • 300 g fresh grelos (rapini)
  • Salt
  • Water

How to prepare the Caldo Gallego:

  1. Before preparing the Caldo Gallego, soak the navy beans in a bowl with plenty of cold water overnight. Do the same with the lacón (dried ham) and the bacon in another container to desalinate them.
  2. The next day, add the beans, the lacón, the bacon (previously drained), the chorizo and the unto to a pot. Cover everything with water and put it on a medium-high heat to start cooking your Caldo Gallego. Add more water if all the ingredients are not covered. When it starts to boil, lower the heat and cook everything for 50 minutes. In the meantime, remove any foam or whatever may be rising.
  3. Also, use those minutes to peel the potatoes and cut them into medium sized pieces, breaking them with a knife. Also wash the grelos, cut them into several pieces and remove the worst looking leaves.
  4. Then, take the unto, the lacón, the bacon and the chorizo out of the pot; and add the potatoes and grelos. Leave the broth on for another 20 minutes and then taste the beans to see if they are tender and rectify the salt.
  5. Cut the meat and chorizo into small pieces and put them back into the Caldo Gallego. Stir well and you can serve the broth, enjoying it while it is hot.


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