Caldo Verde is a Portuguese soup made of potato, garlic, garlicky sausage (chourico or linguica), olive oil and finely shredded greens (Galician cabbage in Portugal, kale here in the U.S.). Many recipes also include onion - but, that's about the only variation I could find as far as ingredients go. The finely shredded greens, cut no wider than blade of grass, cooked for only a few minutes in the finished potato based soup, is the dish's signature. They provide a subtle crunch against the creaminess of the potato.
Almost every English language recipe on the web appears to be a copy of the one found in Jean Anderson's excellent book The Food of Portugal. It's the one I use, and it involves sautéing thinly sliced potato and onion in some olive oil, adding water and letting it simmer until the potatoes fall apart. While that's going on, you shred the kale using a traditional chiffonade technique and cook thinly sliced cured sausage in a pan over low heat until the fat is rendered (we're partial to linguica because it's nice and garlicky, but so spicy that the kids won't eat it). When the potatoes are fully cooked you either mash them in the soup with a potato masher, an immersion blender, or pureé everything in a blender or food processor. You put it all back in the pot, along with the sausage (drained first on paper towel), bring the soup to a boil. After about five minutes you add the shredded greens and let them cook in the boiling soup for about five minutes. Ladle the soup into bowls, drizzle on a bit of the extra virgin Portuguese olive oil, and serve with any good bread and a nice Albarino from Rias Baixas (which happens to be on the Spanish side of the Galicia region that straddles northern Portugal and northwestern Spain).
Posted on Oct 26, 2003 @ 08:17 PM
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