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Caldo Gallego (White Bean Soup)

Howard L. Puckett
Yield Makes 6 servings


  • 2 1/2 cups dried navy beans
  • 1/4 pound Spanish chorizo
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cubed smoked ham (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 6 cups water
  • 6 packets ham-flavored concentrate*
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 2 cups chopped Roma tomatoes
  • 2 cups peeled and cubed Yukon gold potatoes (about 3/4 pound)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup chopped fresh spinach

How to Make It

  1. Sort and wash beans. Place in a large Dutch oven with water to cover 2 inches above beans; cover and let soak 8 hours. Drain, discarding water.

  2. Remove casings from chorizo, and slice diagonally. Sauté chorizo and ham in olive oil 5 minutes or until meats begin to brown. Add onion, and sauté 10 minutes; add garlic, and sauté 30 seconds.

  3. Stir in flour. Gradually add water, whisking constantly until sauce is smooth. Stir in beans, ham concentrate, and next 6 ingredients. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 2 1/2 hours or until beans are tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in spinach, and remove from heat. Spoon soup into individual bowls.

  4. *For testing purposes, we used Goya ham concentrate.