White bean soup


This is the Galician white bean soup recipe, known as caldo gallego, so popular in Spain. Some ingredients may be difficult to find out of Galicia, the region the recipe originated, but substitutes can be used.


1 c beans (white beans)
1⁄2 lb ham (country style ham, scrubbed and soaked if required)
1⁄4 lb bacon
2 potato (medium sized boling potatoes, diced)
1 T olive oil
1⁄2 t paprika
  seasoning (to taste)


  1. Wash the beans, cover with cold water and soak for 8 hours or overnight.
  2. Drain, discarding the soaking water. Put the beans into a large soup or stock pot and add 2 quarts (8 cups or 2 l) water -beans should be covered- and bring to a boil. When the liquid starts boiling, add the ham and bacon. Reduce heat and simmer for about 1¼ hours. Add more cold water if required.
  3. Add paprika, olive oil, potatoes and cabbage. Simmer for 30 minutes or until beans are tender. Don't add salt before testing first, the ham usually brings a strong flavor. Season.
  4. Dice the ham discarding the bone, if you are going to serve the ham with the soup, and serve very hot.


Use any of shredded cabbage turnip greens, mustard greens, kale, collard greens.

Preparing this soup with a pressure cooker is a breeze. Just put all the ingredients together and cover with water -about an inch over the solid ingredients. Beans usually take about 25 minutes once the pressure cooking has kicked in, but it depends on the model. Follow the manufacturers instructions.

Use 2 cans (Net WT 15 oz) white beans of any kind. Drain and wash the beans, use cooked ham or serrano ham - you can omit bacon. Cover the beans with water and bring to boil, add the rest of the ingredients. Simmer until the potatoes and cabbage are cooked, about 20-30 minutes. Check the salt.

4 servings
Total time
1 hour, 30 minutes