Caldo Verde

I saw beautiful cavolo nero (Tuscan kale) on the market the other day and really wanted to use it in a dish. So after an inspirational Google search, I settled on making Caldo Verde, this epitome of Portuguese cuisine. I got actually rather obsessed with the project, because when I realized – after going back to the market and purchasing the ingredients – that I had completely forgotten the chouriço and it being Sunday and shops being closed, I could not rest until I had made the trip to my Portuguese restaurant half-way across town and persuaded the sightly puzzled waiter to pack me a ring of sausage.

I certainly have no regrets. My reward was a hearty and flavorful dish that is just the thing you need on a cold winter day.

Sanni

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cavolo nero (Tuscan kale) (the authentic recipe uses couve galega which is however hard to find outside of Portugal)
  • 400 grams of mealy potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1/4 of a Spanish onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • chouriço (approx. 250 grams)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon of clove powder
  • 400 ml of veal fond
  • 1 liter of water
  • ground nutmeg, freshly ground pepper and salt for seasoning

Preparation:

  1. Heat up the olive oil in a heavy-based sauce-pot on medium to high heat. Fry the onion for a few minutes until soft, but without browning it.
  2. Add the potatoes and the garlic and continue frying for a few more minutes, then add the chouriço (whole), bay leaves, clove powder, veal fond and water.
  3. Bring to the boil, then reduce the temperature to simmering. Cover and let simmer for at least 2 hours until the potatoes have completely disintegrated. (If your potatoes will not disintegrate or you wish to cut the process short, puree with a hand blender after approximately 1 hour cooking time. Remove the bay leaves first.)
  4. In the meantime, wash the cabbage leaves, remove tough stem parts, and cut into very fine slices.
  5. Remove the bay leaves and the sausage, and season the soup with nutmeg, pepper and salt.
  6. Add the cabbage to the soup and let simmer for another 10 to 15 minutes until tender.
  7. Cut the chouriço into thin slices and add to the soup at the ent of the cooking time.
  8. Serve and enjoy!

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