Indulge in the heartwarming flavors of Catalonia with Escudella de Nadal, a cherished traditional dish enjoyed during the festive season. This rich and hearty stew, dating back centuries, embodies the spirit of Catalan culinary heritage. Brimming with a medley of meats, vegetables, and aromatic spices, this dish warms both the body and soul, making it a beloved centerpiece of holiday gatherings. Experience the comforting embrace of Escudella de Nadal, where every spoonful tells a story of tradition, family, and the joy of celebration.


For the meatballs:

  • 250g ground pork
  • 250g ground beef
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the soup:

  • 1 large bone-in ham hock
  • 250g botifarra sausage (or any other flavorful sausage)
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 leek, trimmed and diced
  • 1 large potato, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 small cabbage, shredded
  • 1/2 cup cooked chickpeas (optional)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Chopped fresh parsley for garnish


1- In a large mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients for the meatballs – ground pork, ground beef, chopped onion, minced garlic, egg, breadcrumbs, chopped parsley, salt, and pepper. Mix well until thoroughly combined.

2- Shape the mixture into small meatballs, about 1-inch in diameter. Set aside.

3- In a large pot, add the ham hock and cover with water. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for about 1 hour, skimming off any foam that rises to the surface.

4- After 1 hour, add the botifarra sausage to the pot, along with the diced carrots, celery, leek, potato, shredded cabbage, cooked chickpeas (if using), and bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

5- Continue to simmer the soup over low heat for another hour, or until the vegetables are tender and the flavors have melded together.

6- Carefully remove the ham hock from the pot and shred the meat, discarding the bone and any excess fat.

7- Return the shredded ham back to the pot. Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

8- Add the meatballs to the soup and simmer for an additional 15-20 minutes, or until the meatballs are cooked through.

9- Once the meatballs are cooked, remove the pot from the heat. Ladle the Escudella de Nadal into bowls and garnish with chopped fresh parsley.

10- Serve hot and enjoy this comforting and traditional Catalan Christmas soup with crusty bread on the side.

Buon Appetito!

Nutritional Values:

Providing exact nutritional values for recipes can vary based on factors such as specific brands used, cooking methods, and ingredient quantities. However, here are approximate nutritional values for some of the main ingredients in the Escudella de Nadal recipe:

Ground Pork (250g):

  • Calories: 700
  • Protein: 50g
  • Fat: 55g
  • Carbohydrates: 0g
  • Fiber: 0g


  • Good source of protein, essential for muscle repair and growth.
  • Provides important vitamins and minerals like B vitamins, zinc, and phosphorus.

Ground Beef (250g):

  • Calories: 590
  • Protein: 50g
  • Fat: 40g
  • Carbohydrates: 0g
  • Fiber: 0g


  • Rich in protein, necessary for building and repairing tissues in the body.
  • Contains iron, which is important for oxygen transport and energy production.

Botifarra Sausage (250g):

  • Calories: 650
  • Protein: 20g
  • Fat: 60g
  • Carbohydrates: 0g
  • Fiber: 0g


  • Provides protein for muscle health and repair.
  • Contains fats which provide energy and aid in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins.

Chickpeas (cooked, 1/2 cup):

  • Calories: 134
  • Protein: 7g
  • Fat: 2g
  • Carbohydrates: 22g
  • Fiber: 6g


  • High in fiber, which supports digestive health and helps regulate blood sugar levels.
  • Good source of plant-based protein, important for vegetarians and vegans.

Potato (1 large):

  • Calories: 168
  • Protein: 5g
  • Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 38g
  • Fiber: 4g


  • Excellent source of carbohydrates, providing energy for the body.
  • Contains vitamin C, potassium, and B vitamins, important for overall health and immunity.

Cabbage (1/2 small):

  • Calories: 17
  • Protein: 1g
  • Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 4g
  • Fiber: 2g


  • Low in calories and high in fiber, promoting satiety and aiding in weight management.
  • Rich in antioxidants, which help protect the body from oxidative stress and inflammation.

Carrots (2 medium):

  • Calories: 50
  • Protein: 1g
  • Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 12g
  • Fiber: 4g


  • High in beta-carotene, a precursor to vitamin A, important for vision health and immune function.
  • Good source of fiber, supporting digestive health and promoting feelings of fullness.

Celery (2 stalks):

  • Calories: 20
  • Protein: 1g
  • Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 4g
  • Fiber: 2g


  • Low in calories and high in water content, making it hydrating and refreshing.
  • Contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, supporting overall health and reducing the risk of chronic diseases.

Please note that these values are approximate and can vary based on factors such as specific ingredients used and cooking methods.


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