Caldo Gallego Recipe

If you’re looking for a hearty and nutritious soup that will warm you up on a cold winter day, look no further than Caldo Gallego. This traditional soup from the Galicia region of Spain is made with white beans, pork, chorizo, and kale, among other ingredients. It’s easy to make and can be enjoyed as a main course or as a side dish.

To make Caldo Gallego, you’ll need to soak the beans overnight or use canned beans. You’ll also need some ham hock, potatoes, turnips, and turnip greens, as well as some spices like paprika and cumin. The soup is typically cooked on the stovetop or in a Dutch oven and takes about an hour to prepare.

There are many variations of Caldo Gallego, but the basic recipe remains the same. Some people like to add carrots, onions, or other vegetables, while others prefer to use different types of beans or meats. Regardless of how you make it, Caldo Gallego is a delicious and satisfying soup that is sure to become a favorite in your household.

History of Caldo Gallego

Caldo Gallego is a traditional soup dish from the Galicia region in northern Spain. The soup has been enjoyed for many centuries and has become a staple dish in the region. In this section, we will explore the history of Caldo Gallego, including its Galician origins and the evolution of the recipe.

Galician Origins

Caldo Gallego has its roots in the Galician countryside, where it was a major source of nourishment for rural communities. The soup was traditionally made with simple and affordable ingredients that were readily available in the region, including white beans, turnip greens, potatoes, and chorizo.

According to, the history of Caldo Gallego can be traced back to the Middle Ages when it was a staple dish among Galician peasants. The soup was often prepared in large batches and served to family and friends, making it a communal dish that brought people together.

Evolution of the Recipe

Over the years, the recipe for Caldo Gallego has evolved, with many variations and adaptations. Some recipes call for the addition of other ingredients, such as pork, bacon, or ham hock, while others use different types of beans or greens.

Despite these variations, the basic recipe for Caldo Gallego remains the same, with a hearty broth made from white beans, potatoes, and turnip greens, flavored with chorizo and other seasonings. The soup is typically served hot and is a popular dish during the colder months of the year.

In conclusion, the history of Caldo Gallego is a testament to the rich culinary traditions of the Galicia region in northern Spain. The soup has been enjoyed for centuries and continues to be a beloved dish among locals and visitors alike.

Essential Ingredients

When it comes to making Caldo Gallego, there are a few essential ingredients that you cannot do without. These ingredients are what give this traditional Galician broth its unique flavor and texture. In this section, we will discuss the three main categories of ingredients: Greens Selection, Proteins Used, and Legumes and Vegetables.

Greens Selection

The first essential ingredient in Caldo Gallego is the greens. Traditionally, turnip greens are used, but kale or collard greens can also be used. The greens are added towards the end of the cooking process to ensure that they retain their texture and color. You can chop the greens into bite-sized pieces or leave them whole, depending on your preference.

Proteins Used

The second essential ingredient in Caldo Gallego is the proteins. This soup typically contains a variety of meats, including ham hocks, Spanish chorizo, and bacon. The ham hocks add a rich, smoky flavor to the broth, while the chorizo provides a spicy kick. You can also use other types of sausage or bacon to add flavor to the soup.

Legumes and Vegetables

The third essential ingredient in Caldo Gallego is the legumes and vegetables. White beans are the most common type of legume used in this soup, but you can also use other types of beans or lentils. Potatoes and turnips are also added to the soup, giving it a hearty, filling texture. You can also add other vegetables, such as carrots or celery, to the soup if you like.

In conclusion, the essential ingredients in Caldo Gallego are what make this traditional Galician broth so delicious and satisfying. By using the right combination of greens, proteins, legumes, and vegetables, you can create a soup that is both healthy and flavorful. Whether you are cooking for your family or entertaining guests, Caldo Gallego is sure to be a hit.

Cooking Instructions

Preparation Steps

Before starting to cook Caldo Gallego, make sure you have all the necessary ingredients. You will need potatoes, turnips, onion, garlic, chorizo, ham, chicken stock, and white beans. You may also add other vegetables such as kale or collard greens to enhance the flavor.

To prepare the ingredients, peel and chop the potatoes and turnips into small cubes. Mince the onion and garlic. Slice the chorizo and ham into small pieces. Rinse the white beans and soak them overnight in cold water.

Cooking Time and Temperature

To cook Caldo Gallego, heat the oil in a stockpot over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until translucent for about 5 to 10 minutes. Then add the garlic and cook for an additional 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in chorizo and ham and cook until lightly browned for about 3 to 4 minutes.

Next, add the potatoes and turnips to the pot and pour in the chicken stock. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for about 30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.

Add the white beans and let it simmer for another 15 to 20 minutes until the beans are tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot with some crusty bread.

It is important to note that the cooking time and temperature may vary depending on the type of stove and the size of the pot. Keep an eye on the soup to ensure it does not boil over or burn.

Serving Suggestions

Caldo Gallego is a hearty soup that is perfect for cold winter nights or to warm up when you are feeling under the weather. Here are some ideas for serving this delicious dish.

Traditional Accompaniments

Caldo Gallego is traditionally served with crusty bread, which is perfect for soaking up the flavorful broth. You can also serve it with a side of Spanish tortilla, which is a potato and onion omelet that is a staple in Spanish cuisine. If you want to add some heat to your meal, you can serve Caldo Gallego with a side of spicy chorizo.

Modern Twists

If you want to put a modern twist on this classic dish, you can serve Caldo Gallego with a side of roasted vegetables. Roasted carrots, parsnips, and turnips are a great addition to this soup, and they add some extra color and flavor to your meal. You can also add some greens to your soup, such as kale or spinach, to make it even more nutritious.

For a lighter version of this soup, you can use turkey sausage instead of chorizo. You can also use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock to make it vegetarian-friendly. If you want to make it even more filling, you can add some cooked white beans to the soup.

No matter how you choose to serve it, Caldo Gallego is a delicious and comforting dish that is sure to warm you up on a cold day.

Nutritional Information

Caldo Gallego is a hearty soup that is packed with nutrients. It is a great source of protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Here is the nutritional information for a serving of Caldo Gallego made with the traditional ingredients.


A serving of Caldo Gallego contains approximately 350-400 calories. The exact calorie count will vary depending on the specific recipe and serving size.


Caldo Gallego is a good source of protein. A serving of this soup contains around 20-25 grams of protein. The protein comes from the beans, ham, and chorizo used in the recipe.


The white beans used in Caldo Gallego are a great source of fiber. A serving of this soup contains around 10-15 grams of fiber. Fiber is important for digestive health and can help you feel full for longer.

Vitamins and Minerals

Caldo Gallego is a good source of vitamins and minerals. The soup contains a variety of vegetables, including onions, green bell peppers, and garlic, which are rich in vitamins and minerals. The ham and chorizo also provide important nutrients like iron and zinc.

Overall, Caldo Gallego is a healthy and nutritious soup that is perfect for a cold winter day. It is a great way to get a variety of nutrients in one meal.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the traditional ingredients in Caldo Gallego?

The traditional ingredients in Caldo Gallego include white beans, collard greens, potatoes, and meat such as chorizo, bacon, and ham. Some recipes may also include turnips, onions, garlic, and saffron.

How can I make a vegetarian version of Caldo Gallego?

To make a vegetarian version of Caldo Gallego, you can omit the meat and replace it with vegetable broth or water. You can also add more vegetables such as carrots, celery, and mushrooms to enhance the flavor.

What type of chorizo is best used in a Caldo Gallego recipe?

The type of chorizo used in a Caldo Gallego recipe can vary depending on personal preference. Some recipes call for spicy chorizo, while others use sweet or smoked chorizo. It is important to use high-quality chorizo to ensure the best flavor.

Are there any shortcuts for making a quick and easy Caldo Gallego?

One shortcut for making a quick and easy Caldo Gallego is to use canned white beans instead of dried beans. This will save time on soaking and cooking the beans. Another shortcut is to use pre-cut collard greens or other leafy greens to save time on chopping.

What is ‘unto’ and how is it used in Caldo Gallego?

Unto is a type of pork fat that is commonly used in traditional Caldo Gallego recipes. It is used to add flavor and richness to the soup. If you cannot find unto, you can substitute it with bacon or other types of pork fat.

How many carbohydrates are typically found in a serving of Caldo Gallego?

The number of carbohydrates in a serving of Caldo Gallego can vary depending on the recipe and serving size. On average, a serving of Caldo Gallego contains around 30-40 grams of carbohydrates. However, this can vary depending on the specific ingredients used in the recipe.

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