Ever notice how eating green cuisine automatically makes you feel healthy? There’s something psychologically and emotionally satisfying about it, where your body convinces itself that you’ve done the equivalent to fasting for a week, while abstaining from all stimulants and depressants. Mind you, we’re not talking the medicinal version of green, also known as penicillin, but rather the hearty green, consisting of exotic words like: kale, cabbage, spinach and broccoli.
On cold winter days, I’m prone to crave an enormous bowl of Caldo Verde, chock full of kale, potatoes, garlic and a massive chunk of chouriço. Portuguese chouriço is generally made with pork, fat, wine, paprika, garlic, and salt, which not only makes your house smell incredible when cooking with it, but adds the perfect amount of flavor to balance the kale.
Our suggestion: cook up a huge pot of this soup and break open a bottle of a full-bodied Portuguese white wine: these might include wines from the Alentejo, Douro and Tras-os-Montes. Otherwise, try a White Port! Might feel rebellious but the flavor should go beautifully.
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 8 cups water
- 1 cup chouriço, sliced 1/4 inch thick
- 1 pound white (or red) potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 pound kale, leaves finely shredded and stems discarded
- Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot on medium heat. Add garlic, onion and half of the chorizo and cook turn down to low heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens, approximately 8 minutes. Add the water, potatoes and a large pinch of salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.
- Using a blender, blend the soup to a coarse puree. Bring the soup to a boil. Add the kale and simmer until it is wilted, about 3 minutes. Stir in the remaining half of the chouriço and simmer for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and serve in bowls, drizzled with the rest of the olive oil.
- If you wish to make this ahead of time, the soup can be refrigerated for 2 days.