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      RECIPE TITLE "Spanish Potato, Chard, and Bean Soup (Caldo Gallego)"
    Recipe excerpted from Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian: More Than 650 Meatless Recipes from Around the World 
    Copyright © by Madhur Jaffrey

    yields Serves 6 time---difficultyeasy

    Use any medium-small white beans here. This is a pale soup with flecks of dark green. It is served with a little dribble of fruity olive oil. A good crusty bread on the side makes it into a perfect lunch or first course.
    This soup may be made in advance and reheated.


    1 cup (6 ounces) dried white beans, such as cannellini or navy
    5 cups vegetable stock
    1 garlic clove, peeled
    2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano or ½ teaspoon dried
    3 tablespoons olive oil
    2 smallish onions (7 ounces), peeled and cut into ¼-inch dice
    1 medium baking potato (8 ounces), peeled and cut into ¼-inch dice
    4 lightly packed cups (8 ounces) chopped chard (both stems and leaves)
    2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
    Salt as needed
    Extra-virgin olive oil, about 1 teaspoon per serving


    Soak the beans overnight as suggested on page 6, or use the Quick-Soak Method on page 6. Drain, discarding any soaking liquid.

    In a medium pot, bring the beans and stock to a boil, skimming off the froth that rises to the top. Add the garlic and oregano. Stir and turn the heat down to low. Cover partially and simmer gently for 40 to 60 minutes, or until the beans are tender. (Older beans will take longer to cook.) Crush the garlic clove against the side of the pot and mix well.

    Put the oil in a large pan and set over medium-high heat. When hot, add the onions and potato. Stir and cook for 4 to 5 minutes so there is a little bit of browning. Add the chard and parsley. Stir for about 1 1/2 minutes, or until the chard has wilted. Now add the cooked beans and their liquid and bring to a boil. Cover partially, turn the heat down to low, and simmer gently for 30 minutes, stirring now and then. Mash some of the beans and the potato pieces against the sides of the pan. Taste for salt; you will probably need to add some even if your stock was salted. Mix well.

    Ladle into soup plates and dribble a teaspoon of extra-virgin olive oil over each serving.


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