Caldo Verde ~ Portuguese Kale Soup

Raquel StecherAbout Me
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Caldo Verde translated literally into Portuguese means "Green Pot". My father hails from mainland Portugal. Growing up, I took several trips out there and it was pretty common for my family and I to consume numerous bowls of Caldo Verde. The most common type involves a broth-based potato soup, blended until smooth and to which strips of kale and a few pieces of chorizo are added. A lot of people like the clean cut look of collard strips and use them instead of kale. I consider those people heathens! You can't make kale soup without kale. I spit on your collard soup. ::spit::. I have never made this soup with carrots and I tried adding  it to my basic recipe. There are a lot of variations of this soup. You can easily make it with just potatoes, kale and water (with salt and pepper). However, the addition of onions, garlic and carrots makes it truly wonderful. Next time I'll try adding kidney beans.

I really hope you'll take the opportunity to make this very special soup. It's a staple of Portuguese cuisine and makes for a hearty winter soup.

1/2 large onion chopped
- or small onion chopped
3 carrots peeled and sliced
3 garlic cloves smashed
4 large yellow potatoes chopped
2 chorizo links with casings removed, halved and chopped
4 cups of chicken stock and 2 cups of water
1 bunch of kale julienned
- or 6 cups of water and 2 packets of Chicken Boullion
crushed red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste

Chop your onions, slice your carrots and smash your garlic. Set aside.

Go on. Peel with your bad self! Peel and chop the potatoes. Set aside in a bowl of cold water.

Remove the casing from your chorizo. This is an important step. Chorizo casing is tough and unforgiving and will make the sausage link curl during the cooking process. Just remove it and don't worry about appearance. Cut the links length-wise then chop into half-moons. Sautee in a separate pan until the are nice and browned. Don't put into the pot until the last minute, otherwise the color of the chorizo will leach into the soup turning it a weird red color.

Now it's time to prepare the kale. With each individual leaf, cut out the stem. You can do this several ways. Cut a triangle out of the leaf, or fold over the leaf and cut out the stem that way. Or rip off the halves of the leaves off the stem. I like a little bit of stem to give some crunch and texture.

Tightly roll the leaf into a bundle.

Run your knife over it to julienne the leaf into thin strips.

Don't worry if it's not perfect.

In a big pot, sautee your onions, carrots and garlic in a bit of olive oil.

Once the vegetables start to soften, add the potatoes and some crushed red pepper flakes. Stir the pot and cook the potatoes until they just begin to soften around the edges.

Then add the 6 cups of water and 2 bouillion packets (or 4 cups of broth and 2 cups of water) to the pot. Bring to a boil then let simmer until the potatoes are cooked.

With a wooden spoon, mash the potatoes against the side of the pot. Do this until almost all the chunks of potatoes are mashed. Leave some chunks behind. This will give your soup a good texture.

Now it's time to add the Kale. It will seem like you have too much kale for your pot. But not to worry because the kale wilts down pretty quickly.

Cook for 5 minutes at a simmer then stir in chorizo sausage. Serve hot or at room temperature (the latter is my favorite). Eat with a nice crusty loaf of Portuguese bread. Enjoy!

Portuguese Kale Soup on Foodista


Tommy Salami said...

Looks yummy! I made a quinoa recipe with kale recently... you're a better cook than me, for removing all those stems. Your method looks like it's not too difficult. Next time I might give it a shot :)

Miko's Girl said...

I'm trying this tomorrow - however, I only have Italian sausage and a wicked case of strep so a substitution will be made.

David said...

I like your version of this classic! Coming back to make again.

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