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Caldo Verde

20031026caldoverde.jpg 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

Comments:


Robert:

"your comment here"

Uh, right. Anyway, that looks great. I have tried getting my wife to eat greens of all sorts, and on at least a half dozen occasions, I've gone the chiffonade route to disguise them. I wonder, however, whether the soup might be the real trick. I'm pretty sure her mother's vegetable soup includes cabbage.... Kale is just a baby-step from cabbage, right?

Glad to see you back posting.

Posted on Oct 28, 2003 @ 12:01 AM

Dick:

Thanks, Robert. Work lately has made it impossible to post with any bit of regularity.

And kale is indeed part of the cabbage family. One of my favorite things about kale is that it's actually better after the first frost, and, if you leave it in the ground, it will keep well into winter. Now, that may not be that big a deal to you folk down in the Gulf states, but up here in New England it's a pretty nifty trick!

Posted on Oct 29, 2003 @ 11:13 PM


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