Monday, September 24, 2007

Caldo Verde - Getting Your Fiber With Flavor!

A painter sees a flower and is inspired to paint. An architect sees a building and envisions how to build it. A poet experiences a powerful life event and takes pen to paper. I see fresh, available ingredients and think about their peak of flavor, how they work with other ingredients and what recipes make them shine.

Working with my farmers market purchases this week, the next recipe up is going to use the kale I got from the Del Ray market.

Caldo Verde, or Portuguese kale soup, is a delicious hearty dish that's high in nutrients and fiber and big on taste. Served as a first course, or main dish with hearty bread, this verdant symbol of Portuguese cuisine satisfies both cook and consumer due to the ease of preparation and accessibility of ingredients. I first discovered caldo verde when watching an episode of Emeril. The colors looked great and I happened to have a bit of Polish kielbasa on hand and thought "what the heck?". I tried it. I liked it.

Now, I've made caldo verde with chorizo and linguica with tasty results. Being Polish, and having kielbasa on hand much of the time, I've taken to making this soup with smoked Polish sausage. I find the kielbasa seasoning goes a long way in flavoring the stock. In this recipe, I use only 8 ounces of turkey kielbasa, in the name of making this soup as healthy as it is robust.



1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 1/2 lbs. russet potatoes, diced into half inch squares
8 cups chicken stock
3 cups water
1 lb. kale, sliced thinly into "ribbons" after rib has been removed*
8 ounces kielbasa, chorizo or linguica, casing removed and diced fine
pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
salt and pepper to taste


In a dutch oven or heavy pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and saute for 3-4 minutes until translucent. Add garlic and continue to cook for an additional 3 minutes. Add chicken stock and water. Place potatoes into pot and cook at a strong simmer, covered, for 20 minutes.
Using a potato masher or large fork, break up about half the potatoes to release starch and thicken soup.
Add thinly sliced kale, red pepper flakes and kielbasa. Salt and pepper to taste.
Simmer partially covered over low heat an additional 20 minutes to soften kale.

Serving suggestions: Drizzle a small amount of good extra virgin olive oil over individual servings at the table.

* Chiffonade is a cutting technique which results in thin strips or ribbons. Take leaves and pile one on top of the other. Roll tightly like a cigar and cut across the roll to make ribbons. This cutting method can be used for leafy greens and herbs such as basil.

Tucker says "Good soup that's good for you!" In dog speak, of course....

1 comment:

Chef LB said...

Great Blog! I love your photos and your babies. Nice touch.
I am a culinary instructor and personal chef - also here in Virginia.
I look forward to eating your kale soup. It's different from mine.
I also plan on using your raspberry plum sauce this Wednesday.