A typical Catalan Christmas day feast includes sopa de galets as the starter, followed by roast chicken or lamb, or baked fish, then torró and neules (traditional nougat and biscuits), washed down with plenty of cava. A galet is a type of pasta characterised by its shell shape, and those used in the Christmas sopa de galets are large and combined with meatballs to make a hearty festive broth.
- Difficulty level: Medium
- Preparation time: 3 hours
- Season: Winter
For the stock
- 6 litres of water
- 1 pig’s trotter
- 1 chicken carcass
- 2 chicken thighs or breasts
- 250g veal
- 1 ham bone
- 125g Iberian bacon
- 2 onions
- 2 large leeks
- 250g carrots
- 2 celery leaves
- 1/2 cabbage
- 2 potatoes
For the meatballs
- 150g minced beef
- 100g minced pork
- 1 egg
- 2 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
- 2 pieces of stale bread
- Flour, oil, salt, pepper and parsley
For the soup
- 200g large galets
- 2 litres of stock
- 250g of meatballs
To make the stock
- Place all the meat in a large pan of cold water over a low heat and cover. When the water starts to boil, skim the foam from the surface and leave it to boil for an hour.
- Dice the vegetables into small chunks.
- Add the vegetables to the meat and cook for a further hour and a half. Add salt.
- Strain the broth and once cool, keep in the refrigerator or freeze.
To make the meatballs
- In a large bowl, mix the minced meat, beaten eggs, garlic cloves and dried bread. Season well and add the chopped parsley.
- Make small meatballs, about the size of grapes, and roll them in flour. Fry in olive oil until they are golden brown and set aside.
To make the soup
- Boil the pasta in a saucepan of salted water for 10 minutes.
- In a large pan, mix the strained broth, cooked pasta and meatballs. Season to taste and cook all together for two minutes.
- Add chickpeas or beans to the stock while boiling.
- Use the leftover meat from the strained broth to prepare croquettes.
- Use seasonal vegetables.
- Prepare the broth a few days before and freeze.
You can find out more traditional Catalan recipes here. Toni Rocamora is the head chef of a big family and lover of all gastronomy-related sports, such as snail hunting, mushroom hunting and market shopping. Toni was born in Oliana, a small town in the foothills of the Pyrenees, and inherited his passion for cooking from his mother, famous for her traditional family recipes.