This Spanish Caldo Gallego recipe is a white bean soup made with chicken and spinach or kale and chickpeas and ready in 20 minutes.
How to Make Spanish White Bean Soup (Caldo Gallego)
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 is also enjoyed in Cuba. 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.
Best of all you can mix and match your ingredients to suit your taste.
Best of all, this stew is a traditional one pot meal that is not only easy on your family budget but is also easy on preparation time, which makes it the perfect meal for weeknight dining. Which means, if you use fully cooked meat, you can make this recipe, start to finish, in about 20 minutes.
Caldo Gallego Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What meat should I use for Caldo Gallego?
Traditional recipes will use ham hocks, diced ham or ham steaks. But you can also use chicken, turkey, or even chorizo for this recipe. I like to mix and match for the best of all worlds.
What type of greens should I use in Caldo Gallego?
You can use kale, spinach, collard greens, even beet greens in this recipe.
What spices should I use in Caldo Gallego?
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.
What type of beans can I use when making Caldo Gallego?
The classic recipe uses white beans but you can use garbanzo beans, great northern or even butter beans for this recipe.
Should I use chicken broth or chicken stock?
I recommend 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.
How can I make Caldo Gallego even quicker (and easier)?
If you use precooked meats and canned beans, then the cooking time is cut in half. Plus, you don’t have to worry about using fresh greens, as they will wilt quickly in the chicken stock.
So how will you make your Caldo Gallego? Be inspired and try it today!
For more delicious Cuban-inspired recipes, check these out:
- Cuban Rice with Black Beans (Arroz Congris)
- Cuban Shredded Pulled Pork (Carnitas)
- Spa Mojito Recipe
- Mango Avocado Salsa
- Cuban Pumpkin Flan
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 oz 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!