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Caldo Verde

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This potato and kale soup is one of the dishes we associate most with Portugal. Substitute spring greens or any dark variety of cabbage for kale.

Serves 4

Ingredients

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, preferably Portuguese
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and green stem removed and chopped
3 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
2 bay leaves
Salt
100g chourico (or Spanish chorizo)
225g kale, rinsed, de-stemmed and cut into thin shreds

Instructions

1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large saucepan and add the onion. Cook gently until it is cooked but translucent, stirring to stop it sticking.

2. Add the garlic and fry for 30 seconds.

3. Add the potatoes and the bay leaves and cook for 2-3 minutes, adding a little more olive oil if you need to, stirring to turn the potatoes and combine them with the onion.  Season with salt – you will need about a teaspoon to bring up the flavours. Add the water, bring to the boil, put a lid on the saucepan and cook for 20 minutes.

4. Fry the chourico in a small pan until it renders its oil and is coloured. Turn the heat off.

5. When the potatoes are cooked but still holding their shape, remove a ladle of potatoes from the pan and set aside. Remove the bay leaves. Purée the soup until smooth. Pour the soup back into a clean saucepan, add the cabbage and cook over medium heat for 3-4 minutes until it is cooked but not collapsing. Add the chourico, check the seasoning and add more salt if it needs it, return the ladle of potatoes to the soup and serve with a drizzle of olive oil in each soup bowl.

Recipe Notes

– This soup can be made in advance, leaving the addition of the cabbage and fried chourico until just before serving.

– The joy of this soup is in the puréed potato base which makes it a really smooth soup with the added texture of the cabbage and chourico. It shows how clever people can be when they have few ingredients and need to make the most of them. If you don’t have a blender, you can of course still make this soup without blending it, but it will be a different soup.

 

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