Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Caldo Gallego

This post is dedicated to all my fellow Miamians. This week the temperature dropped to record lows and people have been freezing their butts off. All over facebook, the statuses are about how cold it is, how many layers people are wearing and how people from Miami are not made to deal with such cold temperatures. And truthfully, I don't blame them; yesterday with the wind chill factor it was in the 20's. So this post is dedicated to my Miami brethren. This Spanish bean soup is the perfect thing to warm your bones and fill your tummy.

1 package dry navy beans
1 yellow onion, finely diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 large carrot, peeled and finely diced
2 celery stalks, finely diced
3 small potatoes
1 turnip
1 head of kale (you can substitute with collard greens or Swiss chard)
2 sprigs fresh thyme
6 slices bacon ( I used turkey bacon because I follow kosher laws)
1 lb. flank steak
6 cups water
3 tbsp. olive oil (plus more for garnish at the end)
salt to taste

The first thing to do is rinse the beans and make sure there are no little pebbles or twigs in the package and set aside. Next finely dice the onions, garlic, celery, carrots as well as the bacon (save one garlic clove to add in at the end). Make sure to cut the slices into small pieces. The traditional Caldo Gallego calls for ham hock and or chorizo or some kind of sausage, but I omitted these ingredients. Add the olive oil to a pressure cooker and toss the vegetables you just chopped and the bacon and saute until the bacon is nice an crunchy and the veggies are tender. Now would be a good time to trim the flank steak of any excess fat and cut it into large pieces. Add the beans, water and thyme, and flank steak to the pressure cooker, giving everything a good stir before putting the lid on. Let the beans cook on medium-high heat for about 30 minutes before checking on it again.

While that is cooking, begin peeling the potatoes and turnips and cubing. Next wash the kale well and roughly chop. After the beans have cooked for about half an hour, remove the pot from the stove and run under cold water to release the pressure. You could also just turn off the burner and let it cool enough for the pressure to be released from the pot on it's own. Taste the beans to see if they're tender, as well as the saltiness of the soup. Add a little salt if necessary. The beans should be about two-thirds of the way cooked at this point. Stir everything in the pot, and then add the potatoes, turnip and kale and stir well. Put the lid back on and cook for about 20 minutes on medium-high heat. After the time is up, release the pressure from the pot before removing the lid and taste once again. Make sure the the beans are tender and that it doesn't need any more salt. Grate the last garlic clove into the soup and stir really well. Once the beans, potatoes, and turnips are tender the soup is done. Serve with rice or crusty bread and drizzle the top of the soup with just a little bit of olive oil before serving.

Let the defrosting begin!


Caleah said...

Wow that looks soooo good! I want some!lol

Rox said...

Thanks! I'll make it for you sometime.

Cathe said...

I'm making this today -- just to verify or clarify, are the bacon and veggies cooked in the pressure cooker and then the beans and other ingredients added? Thanks.

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