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.
- 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
- 1 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.)
- In the meantime, wash the cabbage leaves, remove tough stem parts, and cut into very fine slices.
- Remove the bay leaves and the sausage, and season the soup with nutmeg, pepper and salt.
- Add the cabbage to the soup and let simmer for another 10 to 15 minutes until tender.
- Cut the chouriço into thin slices and add to the soup at the ent of the cooking time.
- Serve and enjoy!