Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Boo, winter! Yay, soup!

Monday morning looked like this:

That was the view from the inside of the car; the ice was so thick that it distorted the view through the windows. The black blur in the picture is The Boy's arm.

The only thing that can make such a day better is Caldo Gallego.

This Galician soup is a staple in Puerto Rico. Which is funny when you think about it: a dish originally from the cool climes of northwest Spain being a big hit in the 80-degree humidity of the Caribbean.

The recipe has variations that include chicken and turnip greens (only available frozen in Puerto Rico); the old-school version, from Cocina Criolla (the Puerto Rican Joy of Cooking) involves making ham stock from scratch to cook the dry beans.

We have a quick mid-week version that's good for a cold winter night, when anything more than a one-pot meal is too much to handle.

So throw into a dutch oven:

one onion, diced
three to four cloves of garlic, minced
two slices of roughly chopped ham
two (or three) chorizos (or, to be inauthentic, andouille sausage)
one 15-oz can of cannellini beans
two pints of chicken stock
one large potato, cubed
a big ol' bunch of leafy greens (kale, collards, turnip greens, broccoli rabe), torn into bite-sized pieces

Bring to a boil, uncovered, then turn the heat down and let it simmer with the lid on for about 20 minutes.

Doesn't that just warm your cockles?

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