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Caldo Gallego Recipe

If you’re looking for an easy, healthy soup that will warm up your bones on cold nights, then look no further than Caldo Gallego!

This classic dish from Spain can be prepared using any type of variety of beans or lentils.

It’s simple yet delicious and versatile enough to go well as a main course or side.

What Are The Ingredients In Caldo Gallego?

Caldo Gallego Recipe

The base of this broth-based stew comes from white beans which give it its rich flavor while also providing essential nutrients like protein, fiber, folate, iron, zinc, manganese, copper, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, pantothenic acid, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, calcium, and selenium.

Other common ingredients include potatoes (which add fiber), kale (which provides antioxidants), garlic and onion (for their flavor) and smoked paprika (to enhance the already flavorful taste).

Some recipes may call for other vegetables such as carrots, tomatoes, celery, peppers, or even mushrooms.

The most important thing to remember when preparing this soup is not to use canned varieties because they lack the richness and texture that fresh produce offers.

One last note about the spices used in this recipe — they should always come from Spain.

Some people prefer adding saffron threads or dried oregano leaves but these aren’t required.

We recommend making this soup at least twice per year so you have some leftovers to enjoy throughout the rest of the year.

Step 1: Add water to pot

  • Add 2 cups of water to the pot.
  • Bring to boil over medium heat until bubbles form around the sides of the pan.

Step 2: Peel and cut potatoes into bite size pieces

  • Once boiling point is reached, peel and cut potatoes into small cubes.
  • When all potatoes are done cooking, drain excess liquid and set aside.

Step 3: Cook red kidney beans in simmering water

  • After draining liquid, rinse and drain red kidney beans.
  • Place drained beans back into the empty pot.
  • Cover with a lid and let sit for 30 minutes.

Step 4: Chop onions and mince garlic

  • Chop onions and remove skins if necessary.
  • Mince garlic before placing into food processor.

Step 5: Add remaining ingredients

  • Heat oil in large stockpot over medium high heat.
  • Add chopped onion and cook until translucent.
  • Stirring occasionally, allow onions to sweat for 10 minutes.
  • Add minced garlic and stir constantly for another minute.
  • Add diced potato and continue stirring until lightly browned.
  • Next, add rinsed and drained red kidney beans along with black pepper, salt, and smoked paprika.
  • Cook mixture just until heated through.
  • Turn off heat and cover.
  • Let sit for 15 minutes before serving.

Step 6: Serve

Serve hot with crusty bread and cheese. You can also garnish with parsley or rosemary sprigs.

How Do You Make Caldo Gallego?

Caldo Gallego (Galician Bean Soup) is best served hot but it also tastes great when chilled – which makes it ideal for serving at room temperature during colder months.

  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 5 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 6 ounces smoked pork sausage, cut into small pieces
  • 1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 pounds cooked chickpeas or cannellini beans (optional)
  • 1 bunch kale, stems removed, shredded
  • Chopped parsley, fresh mint, and/or basil, for garnish
  • Freshly ground black pepper

What Is The Origin Of Caldo Gallego?

Caldo gallego was first created by the gypsies in Andalusia (Andalucía) during the late Middle Ages.

The name “gallego” means ‘from Galicia’ – a region in northern Portugal.

The original recipe included white beans, kale, garlic, olive oil, and smoked sausage.

After being passed down through generations, this soup became popular all over Spain.

Today it’s considered one of the most famous soups in the country.

The ingredients

  • white beans
  • potatoes
  • kale
  • garlic
  • olive oil
  • chorizo


To prepare caldo gallego, start by soaking dry white beans overnight.

Drain them and set aside.

Next, peel and cut potatoes into small cubes.

Peel and finely chop three cloves of fresh garlic.

Slice a few pieces of chorizo and sauté in a pan until they become crispy.

Once cooked, remove the chorizo slices from the pan and set aside.

In a large pot, add some water and bring it to a boil.

Add in cubed potatoes and simmer for about 10-15 minutes.

While waiting for the potatoes to cook, slice several leaves of kale and roughly chop two bulbs of garlic.

Once the potatoes have softened, drain them and transfer them back into the same pot.

Stir in the chopped garlic and sliced kale along with the reserved sautéed chorizo slices.

Then stir in 1 cup of olive oil.

You may need to use more if your soup has less liquid at the end.

Simmer for another 5-10 minutes while stirring occasionally so that the vegetables don’t stick together.

Serve hot with crusty bread!

What Are The Different Variations Of Caldo Gallego?

Caldo Gallego has been around since at least the 16th century, and it was originally known as “garburejo” (meaning “white bean soup”).

In the 19th century, it became popular in northern Spain under its current name after a famous priest, Fray Luis de León y Zúñiga, started serving it in his monastery kitchen.

The soup has since become so widely known throughout Spain, even outside its home country, that it now goes by many names including “Spain’s national dish”.

Here are some of the most common ways to prepare this soup:

  • Caldo Gallego con Sopa Albondigas – A thickened version of the original garburejo. The albondigas (meatballs) make it more filling while still maintaining the same flavor profile.
  • Caldo Gallego con Fideos – Made with small pasta like fideos instead of thicker white beans.
  • Caldo Gallego con Patatas Bravas – Similar to the previous variation but adds spicy Catalan potato wedges.
  • Caldo Gallego con Pimentos – Uses sweet peppers as a substitute for the chorizo sausage.
  • Caldo Gallego con Chistorra – Instead of white beans, use black beans which have a sweeter taste.

What Is The Traditional Way To Serve Caldo Gallego?

Caldo Gallego Recipe

Caldo gallego is traditionally served in a bowl with chunks of bread (pan con todo).

You may also find some people serving this traditional soup by themselves, but if you want to impress someone try adding some pan con.

The traditional way of preparing caldo gallego includes the following ingredients:

  • White beans cooked until tender
  • Potatoes
  • Kale
  • Chorizo sausage


You may add whatever vegetables you like such as cabbage, turnips, carrots, celery, artichoke hearts, etc.

Some people even add meatballs or chicken pieces when they prepare this tasty soup.

There are many ways to serve caldo gallego.

The most common method is to have each person bring their own piece of pan con.

Then everyone sits down at one table and eats together while enjoying the flavors of this great soup.

How Long Does It Take To Make Caldo Gallego?

Caldo Gallego takes about 2 hours to prepare.

If you have all of the ingredients ready before starting this recipe, it will only take 20 minutes to cook.

You don’t need much time in the kitchen when making caldo gallego since everything cooks at different speeds.

The most important thing here is to keep stirring so nothing burns while cooking.

  • 1 hour – Preparing the vegetables, such as onions, garlic cloves, carrots, celery stalks, bay leaves, leeks, turnips, and cabbage (if using). Peel the onion and cut into half-inch pieces. Slice the garlic cloves and chop the carrot, celery, leek, turnip, and cabbage into small cubes. Remove the outer layer of the green cabbage leaf by slicing along its length. Discard the inner core and slice the remaining cabbage into thin strips.
  • 30 minutes – Making the stock. Place chicken bones, water, salt, black pepper, parsley, thyme, rosemary, and fennel seeds in a large pot over low heat. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the temperature to medium heat, cover, and let simmer until reduced by two-thirds, 1.5 to 2 hours. Strain the broth through cheesecloth, discarding the solids, and refrigerate overnight.
  • 10 minutes – Chopping the vegetables. Chop the red bell peppers and tomatoes into bite-sized cubes. Dice the potato.
  • 20 minutes – Cooking the beans and adding them to the soup. Add the chopped onion, garlic, and red bell pepper to the pot containing the cooked chicken stock. Stir and bring back to a boil, then add the cubed potatoes and season with salt and pepper. Let the liquid return to a boil, then remove the pan from the stovetop and allow the contents to cool slightly. Once the mixture has cooled down, pour the contents of the pot into a blender and puree until smooth.
  • 15 minutes – Adding the kale and sausage to the soup. In a separate skillet, sauté the diced bacon over medium-high heat until crispy. Drain off excess fat and set aside, leaving just enough fat in the pan to coat the bottom without burning. Sauté the sliced chorizo in the same pan over medium-high heat. When the chorizo starts to brown, transfer it to a paper towel-lined plate. Return the remaining chorizo grease to the skillet.
  • Add the shredded kale to the pan and toss around until heated through. Transfer the kale to a bowl and cover to keep warm. Pour the contents of the skillet into a bowl and stir in the reserved bacon bits. Set aside.
  • 25 minutes – Cooking the pasta. While waiting for the rest of the ingredients, prepare the pasta according to package instructions. Rinse under running water once drained and place in a colander to drain thoroughly. Toss the drained pasta with the sauce and top with crumbled goat cheese.
  • 10 minutes – Assembling the bowls. Divide the cooked pasta among four serving bowls. Top each portion with some of the vegetable mixture, followed by another spoonful of the bean base. Garnish each portion with fresh parsley and serve immediately.

What Is The Nutritional Value Of Caldo Gallego?

Caldo Gallego has many health benefits because of its high fiber content.

Some of these include being low in fat, having high vitamin A and C levels, and providing lots of protein.

The high-fiber content helps keep you full longer and also reduces blood cholesterol levels.

The potassium found in this soup is another great benefit.

Potassium keeps your heart strong and regulates fluid balance in your body.

In addition to all of that, caldo gallego contains plenty of calcium which supports bone development and maintenance.

Calcium deficiency can lead to osteoporosis later in life.

The amount of sodium in caldo gallego isn’t too much either.

Most people who eat it do not have issues with high sodium intake, so don’t worry about it.

What Are Some Tips For Making The Perfect Caldo Gallego?

Caldo Gallego has been around since at least the 1500s in Spain.

The dish was originally made with dried white beans called garbanzos (also known as chickpeas).

However, these days most caldos gallegos use canned white beans instead because they’re easier to find and more convenient to cook.

Another key ingredient in this broth-based soup is cured pork sausage.

But if you prefer not to add meat into your dish, it also works without it.

If you don’t have access to chorizo, substitute with another kind of spicy sausages such as Italian sausage, pancetta, or even chicken thighs cut into bite size pieces.

To prepare this tasty soup, first rinse the canned beans thoroughly under running water before adding them to the pot along with all other ingredients except olive oil and salt.

Let everything simmer until you see bubbles forming on top.

Then turn off the heat and let sit for 15 minutes so the flavors blend together.

Next, season each serving with 1/4 teaspoon of salt per person and drizzle over 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil.

You may want to consider doubling the amount of olive oil for those who like their food savory rather than sweet tasting.

After letting the mixture cool slightly, pour into bowls and serve immediately.

Caldo Gallego Recipe

What Are Some Common Mistakes People Make When Making Caldo Gallego?

The most common mistake when preparing this soup is not adding enough salt.

Salt helps bring out all the flavors in the dish, so it’s important to add ample amounts before serving.

You don’t want to overpower the flavor of the other ingredients by adding too much salt at once.

Another common problem people run into while cooking this dish is overcooking their beans.

The longer they cook them, the more concentrated the flavor becomes, which means less liquid remains after stewing.

If you notice the beans begin to get dry, remove them from the heat early to prevent burning or drying out.

Also avoid letting the soup boil over because boiling water has high levels of starch, which makes the broth thick and gummy.

To ensure there isn’t any overflow, place a ladle underneath the pot to catch any excess liquid should the soup start to bubble over.

Caldo Gallego Recipe

Caldo Gallego Recipe

Caldo Gallego (Galician Bean Soup) is best served hot but it also tastes great when chilled – which makes it ideal for serving at room temperature during colder months.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Course: Side Dishes
Cuisine: Spain
Keyword: Caldo Gallego Recipe
Servings: 3
Calories: 646kcal


  • Stockpot


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion minced
  • 8 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 Spanish chorizo links sliced
  • 2 thick slices smoked ham diced
  • 3 potatoes peeled and diced
  • 2 turnips peeled and diced
  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • 1 can white cannellini beans
  • 3 cups chopped turnip greens


  • In a stockpot, warm the olive oil over medium heat. In the hot oil, cook and sauté the onion for 5 to 10 minutes, or until transparent. Add the garlic and stir while cooking for two minutes or until fragrant.
  • Cook chorizo and ham with onion mixture for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until gently browned. Add chicken stock after combining the potatoes and turnips with the chorizo mixture. When the potatoes and turnips are cooked, about 20 minutes after bringing the stock to a boil, turn the heat down to medium-low, cover the stockpot, and simmer.
  • Cannellini beans and turnip greens are added to the soup, and the heat is raised to medium. Cook for at least 3 minutes, or until the greens are the desired softness.



Calories: 646kcal | Carbohydrates: 75g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 64mg | Sodium: 1016mg | Potassium: 1976mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 6714IU | Vitamin C: 110mg | Calcium: 210mg | Iron: 5mg
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