Thursday, April 19, 2007

CALDO VERDE (Portuguese Kale & Potato Soup)

This has to be one of the simplest and most comforting of soups. It has everything - potatoes (which we all love), lovely dark greens, onions and garlic (the inseparable duo, in my book), and as much or as little hot chilies as you like. It's ready in the time it takes to cook the potatoes plus a little extra for the kale.

CALDO VERDE (Portuguese Kale and Potato Soup)

1 large onion, chopped
5 large cloves garlic, minced
pinch of crushed chilies (or to taste - we like it HOT!)
4 medium potatoes - abt. a pound - cubed (I leave skin on)
4 or 5 cups low sodium vegetable stock (or mix of water and stock)
1 small carrot, very finely chopped
6 ounces kale, washed, tough stems removed
1 Tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
Dash of tabasco
salt and pepper if needed
Garnish - your choice (parsley, green onion, etc.)

Use a large pan. Over medium-high heat, ‘saute’ the onion in a little water until translucent. add garlic and chilies and cook a minute or two longer.

Add potatoes and carrots to soup pot and add the water or water and stock. Bring to a boil then lower heat and simmer until potatoes are soft.

Mash the potatoes very very slightly (just crushing them, not turning them into mashed potatoes!).

Roll the washed and de-stemmed kale up into tight bundles and slice as thinly as you can with a sharp knife.

Add kale to soup pot and add in the reduced sodium soy sauce. Bring back to the boil, then lower heat to simmer to cook the kale. When the kale soft, add tabasco and freshly ground pepper and taste for seasoning, correcting if needed. (Note, depending on the size and shape of your pan and the heat you use to cook the soup, you may need to add a little more liquid to bring it to the desired consistency.)

Garnish, if you like, and serve.

We had it tonight - didn't bother with garnish - accompanied by some homemade rye breads: a pumpernickel style sourdough which is improving each time I make it and an almost all-rye rye sourdough, which was imperfect in shape but deliciously dense and flavourful. I'm working on that one some more.


smartestartist said...

To stay authentic to the true Portuguese recipe, that uses Linquica I substitute one chipotle, and 1/2 t of smoked paprika too an all water stock. Also try it with sweet potato's. Wicked.



Anonymous said...

I loved this soup. Just started cooking with kale (why did it take me so long?) and this soup is now on my list for when I need a comfort food. I added a 1/4 cup of fresh fennel when cooking the potatoes and some fresh oregano and rosemary. Yummy to my tummy.
Maki in California

River said...

I'm going to try both of your recommendations - perhaps not at the same time lol but one after the other :) Thanks so much. I shall be starting this blog up again this week, I trust. Hugs.

johnfordfw said...

Lovely! I have been looking for a good vegetarian Caldo Verde recipe for years. This is as good as I have had in Portugal, without the meat of course. I am lucky to have friends who have a hoop house and am getting kale in the middle of winter. This recipe puts it to fantastic use!