Posts Tagged ‘Soup’

“San Isidro, labrador, quita el agua y pon el sol.”  This is a phrase that Catholic farmers in spanish speaking countries say to one of agriculture’s patron Saints when they want the rain to go away and the sun to come out.  This summer in Puerto Rico it has been raining a lot as opposed to bright sunny days typical of the season. The weather has been crazy, like in many parts of the world, and we have missed the traditional trips to the beach. For us, the best comfort food for a rainy day is Asopao.  A stew made of chicken or seafood with rice which is heartier than a traditional chicken soup. I usually accompany my Asopao with a side of avocado and tostones (fried green plantains).  So, for those of you that will be sequestered in your homes during this weekend (due to the rain or the cold), here is my recipe for Asopao de Pollo (Chicken Asopao).


Asopao de Pollo


1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

6 drum sticks or large chicken wings (season with a little adobo or salt and pepper)

1/2 cup of yellow onion finely chopped

1/4 cup cubanel or green pepper finely chopped

3 garlic cloves minced

6 grape tomatoes chopped or 1 small tomato chopped

1 recaito frozen cube homemade or 1 1/2 tbsp store bought recaito

10 spanish olives stuffed with pimento (manzanilla olives)

1/2 cup of dry white wine

1/4 cup tomato sauce

1  can (7 0z.) pureed pimientos morrones (roasted red bell peppers in brine)

1/2 tbsp fine sea salt

2 cups of good quality chicken broth

3 cups of water

1 potato diced or 6 baby potatoes peeled and cut in half

3/4 cup of white rice or parboiled rice

1/2 cup frozen sweet green peas


1.  In a med-large heavy bottom sauce pan, heat olive oil (med) and saute the seasoned pieces of chicken. About 5-8 minutes.

2.  Add onions and green pepper and saute for about 3 minutes.

3. Add minced garlic and saute for about 3 more minutes.

4.  Add recaito ice cube, tomatoes, olives and tomato sauce. Saute for about 5 minutes.

5.  Add white wine, pureed pimentos and salt. Let simmer for about 5 minutes.

6.  Add chicken broth, water and potatoes. Let stew simmer for 25 minutes covered.

7.  Add 1 cup of rice and cook for 15 minutes covered.

8.  Add sweet green peas and cook for 5 more minutes covered. At this point add more water if you want the Asopao to have a more liquid.  Serve with side of tostones and avocado.

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Caldo Gallego

One of my grandmothers is from Galicia, Spain so we grew up eating a lot of Caldo Gallego!  This soup has restorative properties when you get sick, have been partying too hard,  need to boost your iron or just want a savory hot meal in the cold weather.  Some ingredients are not easy to find outside of Spain. “Lacon”, “unto”, “judias blancas” are the ingredients that give Caldo Gallego its characteristic taste.  In Puerto Rico, I buy them at Panaderia La Ceiba, a spanish bakery in San Juan.  However, I will provide alternatives for those of you that don’t have a Spanish specialty food store nearby. I usually don’t add salt because the broth has enough salt for my taste, but add salt if needed at the end.

I like to make Caldo Gallego in large quantities because it freezes wonderfully!!!! My aunt and uncle, Lilly and Kas, who live in Houston, Texas know what I’m talking about. Ja!  For many years, after Mami Chelo became a widow, she would spend part of the year with them in Texas.  From what I’ve been told, she would set up a “cooking marathon” before she came back to PR and cook large quantities of Caldo Gallego for them to freeze.  Kas is now an expert making this dish.

Here is my version of Caldo Gallego.


Caldo Gallego


2 cups of dried “judias blancas” or navy beans (sometimes called white haricot beans)

8 cups of water

1 lacon (boiled shoulder pork or ham hock)

4 chorizos (about 4 inches each)

slice of  “unto” (cured salt pork) you may substitute with few slices of pancetta

1/4 of a head of cabbage (chopped)

2 baking potatoes peeled and cubed

1.5 pounds of collard greens ( frozen)


1.  Place the beans in a bowl and cover with about two inches of  water. Place in the refrigerator  overnight  so that they start to become soft. Thaw collard greens overnight in fridge.

2.   In a heavy deep saucepan pour 8 cups of water with “lacon” and whole chorizos to make the broth. Once the water comes to a boil put “unto” or pancetta in and take out what is left after 15 minutes and discard. Cover and allow to boil for almost 1 hour.

3.  After 1 hour add white beans, cover again and boil for about 30-40 minutes until beans are almost done and tender.

4.  Meanwhile, chop cabbage and peel and cube potatoes and add them to the soup after step 3.  Check if you need to add more water.

5.  Take chorizos out of pot and slice them and put back in.  Take “lacon” out of pot shred meat and take away bone. Put meat back into pot.

6.  Once potatoes are done (aprox. 20 min) add collard greens until fully cooked.  Add salt to taste if needed.

7.  Serve with crusty bread.

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