Gluten Free, Lunch, Main Course, Soups, Starters
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Caldo Verde – Portuguese Potato and Kale Soup

Caldo-Verde recipe

Happy New Year!!

After nearly two weeks of holiday, I am finally back to my desk and writing up more yummy recipes for you! I have been working on a new version of the popular Portuguese soup -Caldo Verde (potato and kale soup with chouriço – Portuguese dry cured sausage similar to the Spanish chorizo) with butternut squash as part of the soup base. I tried it out a couple of times and finally I got all the ingredients right and am rather happy with the result. I am writing up the recipe now, but I think it will only make sense if you know what a traditional Caldo verde is like before I introduce you to my new creation. I have a traditional Caldo verde recipe which I wrote a while ago (for Kleinstyle) and I realized I haven’t yet post it on this blog , so for today, I would like to share this traditional recipe with you first and I promise you that the new version will be on the blog in the next two days!

Caldo Verde is one of the most popular soups in Portugal and of course in Macau as well, this is why I know this soup. I remember as a child, I always ate this soup whenever we went to a Portuguese café or restaurant. It is comfort food, not only to me I think, as it is one of those dishes that one can’t resist on a cold winter day.

I really like the combination of the ingredients in this soup. I think the chorizo really brings out the best flavour of the potato and kale. Traditionally, a whole chorizo is cooked in the soup right from the beginning and then sliced to serve. I fry the chorizo slices until they are crispy, then add to the soup during the last 5 minutes of cooking. The chorizo slices still remain crispy and full of flavour. Serve the soup with some warm crusty bread and it is just perfect!

Normally potatoes are pureed in the stock and shredded kale added afterward, but some people also like to leave the soup chunky with bits of potato to bite. I prefer it smooth, as this is how I know it. I use frozen kale here which are already chopped up and mix really well into the soup, but by all mean use fresh kale if you prefer, just finely cut them and cook in the soup for a few more minutes.

For vegetarian version, use cooked Cannellini or white beans instead of chorizo for extra protein. Simply add in the cooked beans after you puree the potatoes in the stock, and then add the kale at last.

Ingredients:

(Serves 4)

  • 500g potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 100g chorizo, thickly sliced
  • 1 small onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 litre of Vegetable stock
  • 2 generous handfuls of fresh Kale, finely shredded (or frozen kale)
  • Olive oil

In a large pan, cook the chopped onion and garlic in a little olive oil for about 1 minute. Add the potatoes and fry for another 2 minutes.  Pour in the vegetable stock and bring to boil, then simmer for about 20 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked and soft.

While the soup is simmering, fry the chorizo slices in a non-stick pan, until they are crispy and most of the oil has released, drain and set aside.

Puree the soup with a hand held blender or a potato masher; drop the chorizo slices in the soup and cook for a few minutes so the soup takes on the flavour from the chorizo.  Stir in the shredded kale.

Ladle the soup into a soup bowl or plate and drizzle some olive oil over it. Serve with warm crusty bread.

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