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.