A Taste of Galicia - Caldo Gallego, Vegetable Soup

Published: 25th September 2007
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Somehow when you do a little research on the cuisine of an individual country it is quite easy to come up almost with a common theme, a common name for the food for that country. Such as French food, Italian food etc but with the regards to Spanish food or more accurately described as recipes that originate from the country of Spain it could be argued that it is not quite that simple.

The Political and historical make up of Spain with the unification of its particular regions and collective cultural identities make it perfectly reasonable and logical to argue that there is no such thing really as overall Spanish cooking. There has been a slow and steady amalgamation of the autonomous regions that collectively make up modern day Spain and all have kept their own individual identities in such a way that potentially preclude any "culinary amalgamation" between them.

The 17th autonomous regions that constitute the modern-day Spain may all have their own distinctive variations of the same language and in several cases different national sub languages but as well as this would have their own individual cultures and most definitely cuisines. One of the more interesting and culturally diverse regions is that of Galicia which is situated in the North Western corner of mainland Spain.

Spain's most westerly autonomous region it is surrounded on two sides by the Atlantic Ocean and as you can imagine for a region that has so much rugged coastline a lot of Galician cuisine is very much based on seafood and seafood based recipes. Nothing in fact could be further than the truth and there are a whole host of interesting and delicious recipes based upon the agriculture and viniculture of the region.

Lets top talking about the food and get down to business. Let's eat!


This particular recipe will actually serve between six to eight people and is ideal for large family gatherings or generally when you have a couple friends round and you cannot think of what to give them. The ingredients that you would need will be as follows:

200 g of dried white beans make sure if you're using dried beans to soak them overnight.
1 Ham bone, traditionally Serrano ham if you can, but any unsmoked ham bone will do.
1 Beef bone
1 small onion quartered.
2 litres of water
450 g of greens such as turnip top's spring greens, kale, cabbage etc.
100 g of sweet soft chorizo in one piece.
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon paprika or however much paprika you want to put on it subject to taste.

Take the white beans that you've been soaking overnight and drain them and place them all together with the meat bones, onion and water in a large heavy-based saucepan or casserole dish. Take this mixture and bring it to the boil skimming off any foam that might arise and then simmer the entire mixture for about 1 1/2 hours or until the beans are almost tender. A useful little tip here is to occasionally add a small glass of cold water to the mixture because basically what this does is almost shock the beans and it helps keep the skins off the beans intact.

Take the potatoes the greens and the chorizo and continue to simmer for a further 20 to 30 minutes or again until the potatoes you feel are cooked.

Take the entire mixture remove the bones from the saucepan and season with a little salt and pepper and add some paprika. Taking a large spoon remove the chorizo from the pan and take this and cut into slices and then return the meat to the pan.

If you want to thicken the soup is likely what you could do is take some of the beans and potatoes and put them into a food processor or blender and purée them and add them back into the soup itself. Alternatively you could actually take the entire mixture itself and insert a hand-held blender into it and basically break up as much as you can which will have much the same effect.

Stephen Morgan writes about a great many Internet Travel based issues and more on the above can be found at Accommodation in Galicia . For a more complete overlook at Tourism in Galicia try http://www.turgalicia.es



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