November 20

Caldo Verde

 

 

This time of year, The Fellow™ and I are jonesin’ for soup more than anything else. We still have our typical cravings like pizza, pasta, burgers… things that are considered on the heavier side, and it’s probably just because heavy tends to mean warm and filling (usually, but not always), and who wants cold things when it’s so cold out? Oh, wait. I do. I’m the weirdo that craves ice cream/frozen yogurt when it’s 20° outside, but I don’t want hot hot hot food when it’s 80°+ out. Go figure.

As previously mentioned, I have a major girl boner when it comes to international cuisine. This was another recipe (on top of my attempt at Locro de Papa) that I knew instantly I had to try. I mean, it’s so simplistic in its ingredients – and even in the preparation – there was no way I could ignore it. Especially since I had all the ingredients already.

When I cook new food, I critique the recipe (assuming I follow it to the T, which I rarely do) and try to decide what I would have done different. More salt, less salt, more spice, less dairy, more veggies, less oil; I think you get the idea. I think my only critique for this one was to add a pinch more of salt because the naysayer in me thought the combination of kale, broth, and kale would provide more than enough salt to flavor and this was not the case. I would still highly recommend holding off on extra salt until you can sample an almost finished product, because there is nothing worse than a super salty soup.

Caldo Verde

source: Leite’s Culinaria [Caldo Verde]

Ingredients

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
10 ounces chouriço, linguiça, or Spanish chorizo
1 large onion, diced
kosher salt
2 garlic cloves, sliced
6 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
8 cups cold water, or half chicken stock and half water
1 pound kale or collard greens, thick middle stem removed, and leaves cut into very, very fine julienne
black pepper

Directions

1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the chouriço slices and cook until lightly browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon remove the sausage to a plate. Try to let the sausage drain well into the pot; its fat will flavor the soup.

2. Dump the onions into the pot. Sauté, adding enough salt to bring out their sweetness, until they’re translucent and very soft. Sprinkle in the garlic and cook for 2 minutes more.

3. Plonk in the potatoes, cover everything with the water, or the chicken stock-water combo, and bring the soup to a boil. Lower the heat so the soup gently simmers. Cook until the potatoes are almost done, 15 to 20 minutes.

4. When the caldo verde is cool enough to handle, purée it using a wand blender. Here’s where you have to make a decision: Tradition states that one slice and only one slice of chouriço is added to each bowl. Chef Villa likes to add half the sausage slices to the pot before puréeing. It’s your choice.

5. Add the greens to the soup, bring everything back to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Season with more salt, if needed, and pepper.

6. Ladle the caldo verde into bowls and garnish with the remaining slices of chouriço.

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