Soup. Winter calls for it. The last few days in Ithaca have been brutally cold and windy, a rather unfortunate combination. After a days worth of nearly useless scrolling across various Internet sources for the perfect recipe, it appeared. Somehow J. Kenji Lopez Alt, of Serious Eats, always knows exactly what I want for dinner before I do.
He uploaded a recipe and video yesterday for Caldo Verde, a classic soup in the Portuguese catalog consisting of potatoes, kale, sausage and broth. The name Caldo Verde translates to “green broth.” It is both hearty and light at the same time. This humble yet virtuous soup is both easy to prepare and quick to come together and will warm your bones on the chilliest of winter evenings.
- 2 tablespoons butter (or ghee, if doing Whole30)
- 1 large leek, finely diced
- 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 6 or so tablespoons of good fruity olive oil
- 1 large russet potato, peeled, quartered and sliced 1/4 inch thick
- 2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, quartered and sliced 1/4 inch thick
- 6 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
- roughly 3/4 pound of kale, finely chopped
- 12 ounces linguica sausage, quartered and thinly sliced (see note) (I used chorizo, like Pedersen’s brand, for a Whole30 version)
Note: Linguica, a garlicky Portuguese pork sausage, is not readily available in my local grocery store. You could use Andouille sausage for a kick or Chorizo for a more Spanish twist. Use whatever you like best!
To begin, heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the butter (or ghee) and melt. Saute the leeks and garlic until softened and translucent, adding the olive oil little by little whenever the pot starts to get dry, 5-6 minutes. Add the potatoes and stir. Pour in the stock and bring to a simmer. Add in the kale, stir and let simmer for 25-30 minutes. The russet potato will have broken down quite a bit and it’s starch will have thickened the broth. The Yukon Golds will have stayed pretty well in tact and the kale will be super soft and velvety. Stir in the Chorizo sausage. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Ladle into bowls and drizzle with a good glug of olive oil and be ready to find yourself unable to put your spoon down. Cheers!