Chef's Recipes

Iberia's caldoso with legumes and vegetables

"Would you please ask Iberia in Adelaide to share the recipe for its caldoso?" - Jill Sawyer, Adelaide, SA

  • 30 mins preparation
  • 1 hr 30 mins cooking plus soaking
  • Serves 6
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"Would you please ask Iberia in Adelaide to share the recipe for its caldoso?" - Jill Sawyer, Adelaide, SA
There are no real rules for this dish - use a mix of the best available ingredients in season at the time. Begin it a day ahead to soak the legumes.
To request a recipe, email send us a message via Facebook. Please include the restaurant's name and address, as well as your name and address. Please note that because of the volume of requests we receive, we can only publish a selection in the magazine.


  • 130 gm dried chickpeas (see note) (⅓ cup)
  • 60 gm small brown lentils (see note) (¼ cup)
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 80 gm (⅓ cup) pearled farro (see note)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra to serve
  • 160 gm bomba rice (⅔ cup)
  • Pinch of saffron threads
  • 1.25 litres vegetable stock (5 cups)
  • 100 gm cabbage, thinly sliced (1 cup)
  • 100 gm mixed vegetables such as green beans and sugar snap peas, coarsely chopped
  • ¼ cup frozen peas
  • 2 yellow bullhorn chillies, coarsely chopped
  • 100 gm rainbow silverbeet, thinly sliced
  • 150 gm yellow zucchini, finely chopped
  • ⅓ cup flat leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
  • Juice of 1 lemon, or to taste
  • ¼ cup fennel fronds
  • ½ onion, finely chopped
  • 2 small garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 5 sprigs thyme
  • 1 small bay leaf
  • 25 ml vegetable oil
  • 1 large red capsicum, finely diced
  • ½ zucchini, finely diced
  • ½ eggplant, finely diced
  • 2 tomatoes (300gm), finely diced


  • 1
    Soak chickpeas and lentils separately in 2 cups water each overnight. if using unpearled farro, also soak overnight (see note). Drain, bring chickpeas, bay leaf and 3 cups water to the boil in a small saucepan, reduce heat and simmer until tender (40 minutes to 1 hour). Drain. Meanwhile, rinse lentils, cover with cold water, bring to a simmer and cook until tender but still with a little bite (20-30 minutes). Drain. For farro, bring a saucepan of salted water to the boil, add farro and boil until tender (12 minutes). Drain.
  • 2
    For sofrito, gently sauté onion, garlic, thyme and bay leaf in oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over medium heat until light colour starts to form on the base of the pan (7-8 minutes). Add capsicum and sauté until colour starts to form on the base of the pan again (10-15 minutes). Add zucchini and eggplant and continue to cook until minimal liquid is left (15-20 minutes). Add tomatoes and cook, stirring often, until dark in colour (20-30 minutes). Cool. This can be made a day or two ahead. Makes about 1½ cups (reserve remainder for another use).
  • 3
    Heat a heavy-based saucepan over medium heat, add olive oil and rice. Stir for 1-2 minutes to toast without browning. Add saffron, ⅔ cup soffrito and a good pinch of salt, and fry gently until fragrant. Add 1 litre stock, simmer until rice is half-cooked (8-10 minutes), then add chickpeas, lentils, farro and cabbage and simmer until cabbage is tender (6 minutes). Add remaining stock, peas and beans, chilli and silverbeet, and simmer until vegetables are tender (3 minutes). Remove from heat, stir in zucchini, parsley, and lemon juice. Season to taste, drizzle with oil and serve topped with fennel fronds.


Chef Andrew Douglas uses Ord River chickpeas, available from select delicatessens. Brown lentils (unsplit red lentils) and pearled farro are available from delicatessens and health-food shops. If the latter is unavailable, use wholegrain farro or spelt – soak it overnight and simmer it in salted water for 40-60 minutes until al dente. Rainbow silverbeet may need to be ordered ahead from greengrocers, or use regular silverbeet.