This Spanish Caldo Gallego recipe is a white bean soup made with chicken and spinach or kale and chickpeas and ready in 20 minutes.
Spanish White Bean Soup: Caldo Gallego Recipe
Caldo Gallego is a Spanish white bean soup that’s made with chicken, ham, or sausage, along with spinach or kale and chickpeas. It’s ready in less than 20 minutes.
Known as Caldo Gallego or simply Caldo, this rich Galician stew recipe has Spanish roots. It’s similar to the Portuguese version Caldo Verde. You’ll find that one bowl of this soup/stew is more than satisfying.
The classic Caldo Gallego uses chorizo and ham, white beans and greens. But I took my cue from my husband’s family and used chicken instead.
My version also offers a rich chicken stock with mixed greens and chickpeas. The greens I chose were spinach and Russian kale. And, the beans were chickpeas or garbanzo beans, rather than the traditional white beans.
What’s great about this recipe is that you can mix and match your ingredients to suit your taste. Can you mix ham hocks or diced ham steak with chicken chunks, you bet. Can you use collard greens or even beet greens rather than spinach or kale? Absolutely. And, what about chorizo? Could you substitute this with Polish kielbasa or even hot Hungarian sausage? For sure.
One thing you will want to splurge and purchase is Spanish paprika. It differs from the sweet Hungarian paprika in that it offers deep smoky overtones. The taste is amazing and rich. It’ll give you a feeling like you are cooking over a open campfire. Delish!
I also recommend to folks is to use chicken stock no matter what ingredients you use. It’s neutral enough to allow the flavors of the meats, greens and beans to shine, but then offers you a complex liquid to dip crusty bread into it.
Tip: If you use precooked meats and canned beans, then the cooking time is cut in half, approximately 20 minutes. Plus, you don’t have to worry about using fresh greens, as they wilt quickly in the chicken stock.
And, speaking of greens, you’ll want to make sure you use enough. Spinach especially has a habit of shrinking to almost nothing in stock. So when you make your own Caldo, be sure to add the prescribed amount.
So how will you make your Caldo Gallego? Be inspired and try it today!
For more delicious soup and stew recipes, be sure to check out Wisconsin Homemaker’s Recipe Section.
Easy Caldo Gallego Recipe
- 2 1/2 cups chicken cubed (or any mix of meat you’d like, preferably pork, sausage or chicken)
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 4 cups spinach (or any mix of greens, you’d like)
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp Spanish paprika (less, if you don’t like the smoky flavor)
- 1 1/2 cups yellow onion cubed
- 15 ounces beans (use white beans, cannellini or chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
- 1 cup carrots chopped (optional)
- 1 cup celery chopped (optional)
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Place all ingredients into a large dutch oven or stock pot. If using cooked meats and canned beans, cook for 20 minutes. If using smoked ham hocks or uncooked chorizo or other sausage or chicken, cook for at least one hour. Serve. Enjoy!