Caldo Gallego (Galician Soup)
A wonderfully thick Galician bean soup!
My husband’s Tia Zoila use to add “unto” which is a kind of rancid fat…I skip that part and find it’s very delicious just the same…maybe more so.
So here are the ingredients
One huge soup pot and plenty of water
Two lbs. of dry white cannelini beans and plenty of water to cover several inches!
The end of a prosciutto with plenty of meat on the bone…remember, the more you put it, the more you’ll find!
Swiss chard chopped, as much as you like—I use a kilo (at least 2 lbs.) sometimes 3lbs!
Turnips (2 lbs.)
Potatoes (2 lbs) I like the yellow fleshed ones–but you can use any kind
Wash and soak the beans overnight. If you didn’t do it and still want to make this pottage, then boil the beans for 10 minutes at a roiling boil and then let sit covered for an hour…there you go!
Cook the beans for two hours with the prosciutto on the bone. Usually I get an end cut and it’s always less expensive than by the lb. when it’s sliced at the fat end. The meat should be falling off the bone when finished cooking—if not, guess what, folks, you cook it a little bit longer. Take out all the bones, any skin or gristle, and then you’re ready to add the tubers.
(Go here for The Cook’s Thesaurus : http://www.foodsubs.com/Tubers.html on tubers and corms. And go here for a quick education on corms, cormlets, and cormels and roots: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corm )
Add cut chunks of turnips, and cook for 10 minutes and then add the cut up peeled potatoes and cook for 1/2 hour moderate heat . When the veggies are cooked, you can do a fork test—they should be willing to break themselves in two at the insertion of the fork! Smash the beans and veggies a little bit to thicken the soup and then at the last 10 minutes of cooking add chopped Swiss chard. Turn off heat.
No salt, no pepper, no garlic, no onions, and no oil—and it’s perfect without any of these! Serves 8-10, depending how generous you are when you ladle the soup into each waiting bowl.
Serve with warm thick slices of Pugliese Bread, Italian Loaf, or French baguettes, or whatever your little ole’ heart desires…except sliced puff white American! Leave that for the dilettantes.
Make sure you have a delicious and crisp white wine to accompany this dish…you’re gonna need it! It’ll aid digestion and won’t fill you up like a balloon the way water will. It you must have water, then try a lovely San Pellegrino—sparkling (cool, but no ice!) to aid digestion and you won’t drink as much of it as tap water. If you really must, add lemon to it. I like my water to taste like pure water and not lemonade.
P. S. One of the tastiest dishes I remember eating in Spain–some of you will not believe this–was pig’s ears with fat white beans! served in a terracotta dish with vino tinto: Temranillo
Can you find pig’s ears anymore? Another great piggy dish is red beans and pig’s knuckles. These recipes will be published on this blog by request only.