Thursday, December 30, 2010

Sopa de Galet

Sopa de Galet is a deliciously rich soup Catalans eat for Christmas Eve dinner.

It's not typically served in restaurants because of course, your mother already made it for you for Christmas Eve dinner.

In other words, if I wanted to try this soup, I had to make it myself.  And so I did.

And you can too, if you can find galets - large, snail-shell shaped pasta. I'd put money on global capitalism that both Berkeley Bowl and Central Market in Houston carry this speciality Catalan pasta.

Nailing down the recipe was a bit of an adventure.

Before Christmas, I had asked so many questions about the traditional Catalan soup that my Spanish teacher, Anna, called her mother in the country for the recipe. Anna, a fabulous teacher but apparently not a chef, gave me instructions for something, but not a soup.

So I decided to wing it using the ingredients list from her mother.

Fortunately, the beef butcher at the market gave me a few tips. Then the pork butcher added her two cents, including her family's secret ingredient:

Not sure what that is, nor do I want to.  Moving on....

After getting more tips from the chicken butcher and the vegetable vendor, I pretty much figured out what I was doing.
So, my recipe below represents a combined effort of at least five different Catalan families. 
Sopa de Galet is very easy to make but requires two days. The caldo (stock) is better the second day and the stuffed galets need to chill in the freezer for at least 24 hours.

Ingredient List
Bag of Galets
Quail eggs (if you're feeling fancy)

Galet Filling:
250 grams of ground beef
250 grams of ground pork
a hunk of dry bread, put in a bowl of milk
two eggs
chopped parsley
minced garlic
salt and pepper

one beef bone
one ham hock
parts of chicken including bones
sausage (preferably blood sausage)
several turnips
some celery
one onion
some carrots
one leek
water and salt

To Make the Soup

Day One:
Put all the caldo ingredients into a large pot. Cover with water and let boil for at least an hour but no more than one day.  Then, strain and reserve the liquid "caldo".
Next, make the galet stuffing by mixing all the ingredients together.
Pour yourself a glass of wine, turn on some nice music and begin the process of filling each uncooked galet with a bit of meatball mix.  I found using a teaspoon helpful.

Galets now go into the freezer. And you are done for the day.

Day Two:
While the galets are thawing, boil quail eggs in water for a few minutes.  Then, peel the eggs and put them aside.
Heat the caldo and when it boils, add the frozen filled galets. Boil for 20 minutes.  Just before the galets are tender, add the quail eggs.

Our buddies Maria (left) and Nuria (right) seemed to think the soup turned out okay:)


  1. It was delicious, the best catalan galets ever! I admire you!

  2. I'm impressed!

    I think you are off to warm weather today - enjoy!

  3. This recipe arrived too late for our New Year's Eve dinner but it sounds delicious and there is always next year! Dad will get on it right away! Mom

  4. I have a strong suspicion that "my" Jim will want to make this for our belated Christmas/New Year's celebration on the West Coast.
    Also, is anyone else having trouble getting your blog photos? They are often, but not always, sometimes some, sometimes all, not opening along with the text. I can see where they're supposed to be, something beautiful just out of reach. . .

  5. do you boil the galets before you stuff them??

  6. all the photos come up on my screen - I have Att Uverse

  7. Just read all the December entries in your awesome blog. Ray should be right at home in Scatalonia! Very amusing. Miss you, but keep up the grand adventure & send me your mailing address! XXXOOO

  8. I'm not sure what is up with Blogger. As you can see, some of the formatting is all messed up. I'll try to figure it out. Sorry!

  9. I just finished day one of this soup. Looks just like your's. The caldo is wonderful - very rich. I used Jumbo shells that I got at the supermarket. They look just like the galets.

    I did not modify your recipe - ok I added a little smoked Texas paprika to the filling - and I used a "jimmy" amount of garlic.

    Can't wait to taste the final product tomorrow.

    We intend to serve 9 for dinner.

    I wish you were here to enjoy with us.

    big daddy

  10. It looks so good!!!
    I have never eaten sopa like this...