The Boy is Portuguese so the first meal I cooked for him was Caldo Verde (because everyone knows the way to a man's heart is through his stomach, especially a Portuguese man), a Portuguese kale and potato soup also known as green soup or grass soup. It is a relatively simple dish that is very filling and warming. Yesterday was the perfect day for some warming because of the freezing, sideways rain blowing every which way. I didn't have the exact ingredients needed, but I was not about to haul my booty to the Portuguese store in Arlington to get them, so here is the revised version.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 lb or 2 large links of chorizo or linguica (or Trader Joe's smoked andouille chicken sausage)
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 leek, tips chopped off, thoroughly washed, and chopped into slices (I didn't have the leek, but it really adds some sweetness and nice flavor)
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 8-9 cups chicken stock
- 4-5 potatoes (I used medium sized red potatoes) peeled and chopped into quarters
- 1/2 lb kale (I used collard greens because Giant didn't have kale)
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- salt and pepper to taste
- Chop the chorizo into cross-wise slices. Add olive oil to a soup pot and saute chorizo slices over medium heat until browned. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
- Saute onion and leek until translucent. Add garlic towards the end and saute until fragrant (approx 1 min).
- Add chicken stock, potatoes, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and let simmer for 15 minute or until potatoes are soft and can be pierced with a fork.
- Meanwhile, slice center stem away from each kale leaf. Fold each leaf in half, roll up and slice cross-wise to make the "grass".
- Remove pot from heat and let cool a bit. Once cool enough to handle, ladle approximately 2/3 to 1 cup at a time into the blender and blend. Leave rougher with larger potato bits for a rustic soup or blend completely for a finer presentation. (You can also blend with an immersion blender, but we packed our already)
- Add blended soup back to soup pot. Bring soup back to a simmer and add kale and chorizo slices. Simmer until leaves are softened, but not completely limp and still have bright green color.
- Salt and pepper for taste. Serve with rustic, crusty bread!
Happy Hump Day!