Caldo Verde

Q: How do you get a dedicated meatatarian who hates greens to stuff his/her face with a lesser-known veggie like kale?

A: Mince it up really finely and add it to a soup flavored with chorizo, mint, and cilantro. Yum!

This soup gets a nice hit of smokiness from 1/2 lb of diced chorizo. Make sure you get the Spanish kind, which is cured like salami, and not the Mexican kind, which is raw and must be crumbled and cooked before eating. I made a few changes to the directions for ease of use, mainly to modify an odd part that instructed you to run the kale through a meat grinder to chop it up. A food processor (or just a plain old kitchen knife) does the trick just fine.

For a vegetarian option, I imagine this recipe would be delicious with vegetable broth replacing the chicken stock, and crumbled, cooked soyrizo replacing the chorizo. (With those modifications, it would also be vegan.)

I took several pictures of this but none of them turned out well, so forgive me for the lack of images in this post.

Caldo Verde (from Food Network)

* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* 1 1/2 cups finely chopped yellow onions
* 1 tablespoon minced garlic
* 2 pounds potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
* 9 cups chicken stock, or canned low-sodium chicken broth
* 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
* 1/2 pound chorizo or linguica, sliced crosswise into 1/4-inch pieces
* 1/2 pound kale
* 1/4 cup chopped parsley
* 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
* 2 tablespoons chopped mint
* Salt and pepper
* Crusty bread, as an accompaniment (I used a seven-grain loaf I found in HEB’s bakery section.)

In a large soup pot, heat olive oil and saute onion and garlic until vegetables are wilted, about 4 minutes. Add potatoes, chicken stock, and minced crushed red pepper. and bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper, reduce heat to a simmer and cook, covered, until potatoes fall apart, about 1 hour.

While the soup is cooking, finely chop the kale with a food processor (or by hand).

When the soup is thick and the potatoes have broken up, whisk to break up the remaining potato pieces. Add the sausage and cook for 15 minutes. Stir in the shredded kale and simmer until the leaves are softened but still slightly crunchy and flavors have melded, about 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the parsley, cilantro, mint, and season, to taste, with salt and pepper.

Serve with crusty bread.

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