Food for Soul

The Mediterranean Slow Cooker(By Alan Richardson and Michele Scicolone)-Bean and Greens

Bean and Greens Soup Spain  Caldo Gallego, meaning “soup from the Galicia region of Spain,” is pop- ular in both Spain and Portugal, as well as in Hispanic countries through- out the world. Some cooks add leeks, others use turnips or cabbage, and some prefer beef to pork. Beans, greens, and meat are the uniting ingre- dients, but you can be pretty freewheeling with your choices after that. This version is a favorite in my home.

  Serves 8 •2 tablespoons olive oil •2 ounces salt pork or pancetta, chopped •1 large onion, chopped •4 large garlic cloves, chopped •2 medium boiling potatoes, such as Yukon Gold, peeled and chopped •1 smoked ham hock •1 pound trimmed pork shoulder, cut into bite-size pieces •10 cups water •Salt and freshly ground pepper •4 cups cooked or canned cannellini or other white beans, drained •1 pound kale, collard, or turnip greens, trimmed and chopped (about 4 cups) 

 In a medium skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the salt pork and cook, stirring frequently, until tender and golden, about 10 minutes. Stir in the onion and cook until tender and golden, about 10 minutes more.Scrape the onion mixture into a large slow cooker. Add the garlic, potatoes, ham hock, pork shoulder, water, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir well. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours, or until the vegetables are tender. Add the beans and kale and cook for 2 hours more, until the meat is tender. Remove the ham hock and cut the meat into bite-size pieces, dis- carding the skin and bones. Return the meat to the slow cooker. Taste for seasonings and serve hot.

The Mediterranean Slow Cooker
By Alan Richardson and Michele Scicolone

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