Caldo Verde (at least my soup is green)
I’m back with another soup and more kale! Portuguese Caldo Verde (green soup), thick with smoky sausage, kale, and potatoes, oh so good. I can’t believe I haven’t posted this recipe (a Cook’s Illustrated gem) before – it’s one of my faves, a true meal-in-a-pot.
Two suggestions. First, to quickly trim away the thick center rib from the kale leaves, fold the leaf in half lengthwise, then slice along the rib (cutting through both halves of the leaves) until the rib is released (discard). Second, do not skip the drizzle of best-quality olive oil just before serving. The fruity-pepperiness adds a wonderful flavor and texture. A grind of fresh black pepper finishes it all off perfectly.
From The Best Recipe Soups and Stews, by the editors of Cook’s Illustrated Magazine
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling over individual bowls
1 large onion, chopped medium
4 medium cloves garlic, minced
6 c. chicken broth
1 lb. (about 4 medium) red potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
8 oz. chorizo or smoked kielbasa sausage (I prefer the kielbasa), halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch pieces
1 spring fresh savory or oregano (1 used 1 tsp. dried)
6 oz. kale, stems removed and laves cut crosswise into 1/4-inch strips (about 4 1/2 packed cups)
ground black pepper
1. Heat the oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
2. Add 3 cups stock, the potatoes, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Increase the heat and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and mash the potatoes in the liquid with a potato masher until no large chunks remain and the potatoes thicken the soup slightly.
3. Return the pot to medium-high heat. Add the remaining 3 cups stock, sausage, and savory and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer to blend the flavors, about 15 minutes.
4. Remove and discard the savory. Stir in the kale and simmer until just tender, about 5 minutes. Adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately, drizzling each portion with olive oil, if desired.
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