Caldo Gallego

Total Time:
2 hr 50 min
Prep:
20 min
Cook:
2 hr 30 min

Yield:
About 3 quarts
Level:
Intermediate

CATEGORIES
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon Spanish olive oil
  • 1 smoked ham hock, skin scored
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 teaspoons salt, or to taste, divided
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sweet Spanish paprika
  • 1 1/2 cups dried white beans, such as navy, rinsed and soaked in cold water overnight
  • 1 pound potatoes, peeled and large-diced
  • 1 pound turnip tops, rinsed well and coarsely chopped (substitute spring or savoy cabbage if you cannot find turnip greens)
  • 1/2 pound Spanish chorizo, thinly sliced crosswise
Directions

In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil and add the ham hock, onions, and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until slits of ham hock have begun to open and vegetables are soft, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic, bay leaf, 1 teaspoon of the salt, pepper, to taste, and paprika and cook for 1 minute longer. Add 9 cups of water, bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 1 hour. Drain the white beans and add them to the pot. Return to a simmer and continue to cook at a simmer until beans are just beginning to get tender, about 1 hour longer. Remove the ham hock and, when cool enough to handle, remove the meat from the hock and shred into bite size pieces. (Discard skin and bones.) Return the meat to the pot along with the remaining salt (or to taste), potatoes, turnip greens, and chorizo and continue to cook until beans have broken down slightly, potatoes and greens are very tender, about 1 hour longer. Remove the bay leaf and serve hot.

Note: you may have to add a bit more water if the soup gets too thick during the lengthy cooking time.

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