Sunday, January 6, 2008

Caldo Verde

Here's a hearty, comforting soup made with just a few ingredients, originally from Portugal. Base your potato:broth ratio on on how thick you want the finished product. I recommend getting the sausage at Kramarczuk's, but really any sausage would do. I can't find the cable for my camera, so here's an image I yanked from the internet, and it looks a lot like what I made:


3/4-1 lb sausage cut into slices or cubes, preferably linguica or chorizo
1 onion, sliced thin
4-6 white potatoes, peeled and cut into large cubes
6-8 c. broth
1 large bunch kale or collards, washed and cut into 1/8-1/4" strips
3 cloves garlic, minced
S & P
Olive oil or butter to garnish

Heat some oil (I used bacon grease) and slowly sweat the onions until they start to caramelize. Crank up the heat and add the sausage, stirring until it begins to brown. Add most of the garlic and all of the broth and bring to a boil. Add the potatoes and boil 45 min or pressure cook 10 min until they start to fall apart. Smash to your liking with a potato smasher. Add the greens and the rest of the garlic and simmer for 5-10 min, or until the greens are tender. Season generously with salt and pepper (I couldn't resist seasoning more and I added a pinch of sage). Serve with a drizzle of olive oil or pat of butter melted in the middle. Best with nice crusty bread.


Slice the greens as thin as possible ('chiffonade' them). This is best done by rolling several leaves up into a tight tube and slicing them very thin with a knife or mandoline.

If you think your greens will be bitter or if you want to be extra sure they stay a nice bright color, blanch them first. This recipe works great with blanched, frozen kale if you have any.

You can use any hearty green, such as savoy cabbage or turnip greens.

You can puree the soup (ie with an immersible blender) with most of the sausage in it, but retain some whole pieces for garnishing the finished soup. Recipes vary about when you're supposed to smash things up, so just go with whatever works best for your setup.

I have made this with all kinds of sausage: pan sausage, Italian sausage (both sweet and hot), linguica, even turkey Kielbasa...I think it will be good no matter what. If you use a more plain variety, add some paprika.

Also yummy with some grated parmesan cheese on top.

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