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James Peter

Spanish Bean Soup with Beef and Kale
(Caldo Gallego)


1/4 pound bacon, preferably slab, rind removed,
cut into 1-by 1/4 inch strips
1 cup cannellini or Great Northern beans, soaked in just enough
water to cover for 3 hours or overnight

1 prosciutto end (3/4 to 1 pound)
3/4 pound beef chuck or brisket
1 medium-size onion, chopped
1 bouquet garni
2 quarts beef or chicken broth or water
2 teaspoons salt
3 medium-size waxy potatoes, peeled, and cut into 1-inch-slices
2 medium-size turnips, peeled, cut into 6 wedges each
2 pounds kale or Swiss chard, stems removed, coarsely chopped
Slices of crusty bread or toast

Place the bacon in a 2-quart pot half-filled with cold water.
Simmer the bacon for 10 minutes to eliminate some of its smoky
taste. Drain and reserve the bacon.

In a 6-quart pot, combine the bacon, the beans with their soaking
liquid, the prosciutto end, beef, onion, bouquet garni, and broth.
Bring to a slow simmer over medium heat and use a ladle to skim off
any froth or scum that floats to the top.

Cover the pot and simmer slowly for 30 minutes. Add the salt and
simmer for about 1-1/2 hours more, until the beans are almost
tender. Add the potatoes and turnips, simmer for 15 minutes more,
until all the vegetables are soft. Season to taste with salt and

Serve in deep, wide bowls.


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