Caldo Gallego is a traditional soup from Galicia, Spain. The word caldo translates to broth. If you order caldo in Spain you would receive only a bowl of broth. However, here in Santiago de Compostela, when you order Caldo Gallego it is not a simple broth, but you will find a pork based broth filled with locally grown vegetables and beans.
This is the perfect dish following a long hard walking day on the Camino de Santiago. We love it so much, we wanted to share our own Caldo Gallego recipe which has been passed down to Vanessa from her Spanish heritage.
There are no real set quantities given in this recipe as this would have been the recipe Vanessa’s grandmother used over a 100 years ago; passed down through generations watching and learning from their elders. I have tried my best to give some guidelines, but feel free to be creative with your own Caldo Gallego recipe. Always suggested by Vanessa’s Tia Pilar is to add chestnuts, when in season, to give the soup a more wintery savour. Do feel free to share photos and/or new ideas of your Caldo Gallego recipe on our Facebook page. Buen Provecho!
Caldo Gallego Recipe
salted pork parts (ribs, feet, etc)
unto, or salted pork fat
4-5 potatoes peeled and cut into small pieces
bunch of greens (collards, kale or cabbage)
The making of the caldo is the most important part of this hearty meal and takes some time.
One day prior, place the salted pork parts into a bucket of cold water. Store this in the refrigerator for 24 hours, changing the water at least 3 times. It must be salted pork parts, even though you are now desalting them.
The next day, place the pork parts into a pot of boiling water. Boil for 2-3 hours, topping up the water should it require.
Add whole peeled roasting potatoes into the pot, as well as a small chestnut size of unto. Unto may be hard to find; a good substitute would be a fatty pancetta. Boil further until the potatoes are at your desired consistency.
Remove the meat, potatoes and enjoy these prior to serving the Caldo Gallego.
*If using unto, make sure to discard at this point as it is inedible.
Boil the broth on low. Add a few pinches of salt, cut and peeled potatoes, faba beans and a handful of greens. If you fancy, you can add a sliced chorizo or two. Boil the soup until the potatoes are fully cooked.
Finally…enjoy your Caldo Gallego with a rustic piece of bread and your nearest and dearest.
Galicians will say that this soup can not be called Caldo Gallego unless unto is used in the making of the broth. Please feel to use this Caldo Gallego recipe with pancetta. We won’t tell anyone!