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Caldo Verde


It is officially spring in New York, but it certainly doesn’t feel like it. It feels schizophrenic actually as beautiful sunny days alternate with dark gray ones filled with freezing rain and hail.

Yeesh.

This has led to a kind of odd assortment of things to eat at home as I vacillate between going out with friends for dinner (it’s so nice out!) and wanting to stay at home and burrow under the covers until the chill finally goes away.

While perusing the contents of my fridge and freezer yesterday to see what I could whip up for dinner from its random contents, I was super happy to find a pair of CSA chorizo hiding behind some frozen loaves of bread to go along with a nice bunch of kale in the crisper.

I love the combination of kale and chorizo. There is something about the clean bitterness of the leaves that marries so beautifully with the spiciness and bite of the sausage. The flavors always make me think of sunnier places like Spain and Portugal. Places where I can eat standing upright in a bar, tossing cheap paper napkins on sawdust-covered floors willy-nilly.

This soup is good for this strange weather we have been having. It’s warming and comforting, but full of bright, big, assertive flavors. It gets even thicker and spicier overnight.

Ingredients:

1 large yellow onion, finely chopped

1 tablespoon of olive oil

3 yukon gold potatoes (about 1 pound), halved and cut crosswise into 1/8-inch thick slices

4 cups of chicken stock

1/2 pound of chorizo, cut into half-inch pieces

1 big bunch of lacinato or Tuscan kale, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch ribbons

Salt and pepper to taste

How to prepare:

1. Heat the tablespoon of oil over medium heat in a large, heavy-bottomed casserole. Sauté the chorizo in the hot oil until it is browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer the chorizo to paper towels to drain.

2. Pour off any excess oil in the pot, leaving about 2 teaspoons. Sauté the onion in the same pot over medium heat until the onion begins to become golden. Add the potato slices to the onions and toss them together. Continue to cook both for about 4 minutes more. Add the chicken stock and bring everything up to a simmer. Continue to cook the soup until the potatoes are very tender.

3. Using a potato masher, coarsely crush about half of the potatoes in the pot. Add the chorizo back to the pot and continue to simmer the soup for about 5 more minutes. Add the kale and continue to cook the soup for about 10 minutes more. Adjust the seasoning now, keeping in mind that the chorizo will probably add a fair bit of saltiness to the soup.

4. Let the soup stand about 10 minutes before serving. It will get even thicker and spicier overnight.

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2 Comments

  1. Lisa

    Two questions:
    1) about how long do you estimate this takes to make, from start to finish?

    2) how do you come up with these things??? Did you get this from somebody else, or is it your own “brand”? Sounds delish!

  2. Hi Lisa!

    I would guess-timate about 30 minutes start to finish.

    For this soup, I had an idea of what I wanted the final outcome to be. I looked at a bunch of different recipes for caldo verde before cooking, so this one is kind of a mish-mash of them all. Some recipes called for collard greens instead of lacinato kale. Some had garlic, which I would have added if I hadn’t run out!

    Thanks for the comment and the support!

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