October 7th, 2011

What Cassoulet is to France, Cocido is to Spain.  This Spanish soup has many variations depending on the region in which it is made.  Basically it is a brothy pot of chickpeas, with many kinds of meat and vegetables.  In Madrid the main meat is beef, but this version from Galicia, where pork is produced, relies more on the meat from the pig.  The original recipe came from The Dean and Deluca Cookbook by David Rosengarten.  I made a few changes to it.

The amount of meat called for sounds staggering.  I kept the butcher at the Fresh Market busy gathering together what I needed.  There was the stewing chicken which I could not find, so substituted whole chicken legs.  There was the pork loin which was easy enough.  It called for a veal shank, but I chose to use a beef shank which was half the price.  A ham hock was added to my purchases and then chorizo sausages.  By this time the butcher was ready to throw in an extra sausage for free.  It was nice of him.

The soup takes a while to cook.  The dried chickpeas have to be soaked overnight and the meat simmers in the broth and chickpeas for 2 1/2 hours.  Then the vegetables are added; onions, carrots, parsnips, potatoes and cabbage if you have room.  My largest stock pot was full to the brim with no room for cabbage.  The recipe I was following didn’t call for it anyway.

I was thinking to myself by this time that I had much too much soup.  I would suggest that you halve the recipe.  But I have a feeling that it will freeze well and I will be happy with all of the leftovers.  It was a very satisfying soup and I will make it again.

COCIDO (Adapted from The Dean and Deluca Cookbook)

3 cups dried chickpeas, soaked in water overnight ( 1 1/2 lbs dried chickpeas)
3 Whole large chicken legs skinned and separated into legs and thighs
1 pound pork loin cut into 3-inch chunks
1 pound ham hock
1 pound beef shank
2 cups dry white wine
1 quart chicken stock
1 quart water
6 chorizo sausages
1 large onion, minced
3 large garlic cloves, mionced
4 medium waxy potatoes, peeled and cubed
3 parships, peeled and coarsely diced
3 carrots, coarsely diced
1 bay leaf
1 fresh red hot chili pepper (optional)  I used red pepper flakes at the end of cooking

Drain the chickpeas and place then in a large stockpot.  Add the chicken, pork loin, ham hock, beef shank, wine, chicken stock, and water.  Bring to a boil, remove froth, reduce heat to moderate, and simmer gently, uncovered, for 2 1/2 hours.

Add the chorizos, onion, garlic, potatoes, parsnips, carrots, bay leaf, and chili.  Simmer gently, uncovered for 1 hour more.

When ready to serve cocido, remove ham hock and beef shank.  Cut meat off of the bones, discard bones, and return shredded meat to stock pot.  Remove the bay leaf.  I also had to remove the bones from the chicken because it had cooked to shreds.

Divide among soup bowls and serve.  Serves 6.  I would say it serves more, especially if you cut the chorizos into pieces.

Printable recipe

© Penny Klett, Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen. All rights reserved.