Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Caldo Verde (Portuguese-Style Soup with Kale, Potatoes and Sausage)

Caldo Verde is a Portuguese soup that traditionally consists of collard greens, potatoes, and pork sausage (e.g., Linguica or Chourico). The soup is hearty yet light (sounds like an oxymoron, but it really isn't), super flavorful, chock full of nutrients, and surprisingly easy to make. Comfort food at its best! My version is probably not as 'green' in color as the traditional because I happen to like using the drippings or fond from browning the sausage to make the soup base, which gives it a more golden-brown tint. Anyhoo, just try it cuz you'll like it, especially on a coldish fall or winter day.

1 lb. kale (I like to use the Tuscan/Lacinato variety), Swiss chard and/or collard greens
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
4-5 garlic cloves, minced
6 tbsp. olive oil
12 oz. Linguica or other smoked pork sausage (e.g., Kielbasa), cut into 1/4-1/2" slices
2 russet potatoes, peeled and halved, then sliced
4 cups unsalted chicken stock
2 cups water
Salt and pepper

1. Heat 2 tbsp. oil in a medium pot (I use an enameled cast iron pot). Add the sausage slices and saute for 5-10 minutes or until lightly browned and the fat is rendered. Remove the sausage and set aside.

2. In the same pot, add 1 tbsp. oil and saute the onions until softened, about 5 minutes; season with salt and pepper. Add the minced garlic and cook another 2-3 minutes.

3. Add the sliced potatoes and saute until they  just start to brown. Season with salt and pepper. Add the chicken stock and bring to a simmer.

4. Strip the leaves off of the stems of the kale. Stack the leaves on top of each other and then roll tightly. Slice the roll into thin slices.

5. Add the sliced kale to the soup pot. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat. Simmer for 25-30 minutes or until the potatoes are creamy and the kale is tender. Taste and season with up to 2 tsp. of salt.

6. Using a potato masher, lightly mash some of the potatoes to give the soup a slightly creamy texture. Add the sausage just before serving.

1 bunch of Lacinato or Tuscan kale, onion, garlic, and russet potatoes.

Thinly sliced kale leaves, chopped onion, and minced garlic.

Halve then slice the potatoes.

Linguica is readily available in most U.S. supermarkets. 
This is an 11-oz. package with two links, which I've cut into slices.

Brown the sausage slices. 

My fav brand of unsalted chicken stock.

Remove the browned sausage and set aside.

In the pot with the rendered sausage fat, saute the chopped onion for about 5 minutes, 
add the minced garlic, and cook until lightly browned. Season with salt and pepper.

Add the potato slices and saute until they just start to brown. 
Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.

Add the chicken stock and bring to a simmer. 

Add the sliced kale leaves. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer; continue
simmering for 25-30 minutes or until the potatoes and kale are tender. 
Taste for seasoning (add up to 2 tsp. of salt as needed)

Using a potato masher, gently mash some of the potatoes in the soup 
to give it a light creamy texture.

Add the reserved sausage slices to the soup just before serving.

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