Kale soup with chouriço and potatoes

Kale soup with chouriço and potatoes

Caldo verde

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Serves
4
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Caldo verde is one of Portugal’s most special, heart-warming dishes. The quality of the chouriço and the potatoes makes a big difference, so get the best you can. In Portugal, a type of cabbage called couve galega is used, but here I have gone for kale, which enhances the beautiful jade colour. Traditionally, caldo verde is made with water, but I prefer to use chicken stock for a denser flavour – my countrymen will kill me, but I am prepared to stand my ground.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
3 tablespoons olive oil
150g chourico, (skin removed), diced, plus a few thin slices to garnish
2 onions, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 bay leaf
4 potatoes, peeled and diced into small pieces, such as Maris Piper or similar
1.5 litres chicken stock or water
200g kale, finely chopped
extra-virgin olive oil, to serve
4 slices Cornbread, toasted, buttered and cut into small pieces (optional), sourdough or other rustic loaf
good-quality white wine vinegar, to serve
sea salt flakes
ground white pepper

Method

  1. Heat the olive oil in a pan over a medium heat. Add the chouriço and cook for a couple of minutes, then add the onions, garlic and bay leaf, season with salt and pepper and cook until the onions are soft. Stir in the potatoes and sweat for a few minutes, stirring so the potatoes don’t stick. Pour in the stock or water and simmer gently over a low heat until the potatoes are soft. Remove a few tablespoons of the potatoes and set aside.
  2. Add half the kale to the soup and simmer for a few minutes. Remove the bay leaf, take the soup off the heat and blend until smooth with a stick blender. (Traditionally the soup is not blended, but I like to blend it and add some more fresh kale at the end.) Return the pan to the heat and taste for seasoning. Add the reserved potatoes and remaining kale and simmer for a few minutes.
  3. Ladle the soup into bowls. Finish with some thinly sliced chouriço, extra-virgin olive oil and pieces of toast, if you like. As it can be quite a heavy soup, I like to add a splash of white wine vinegar to cut through the richness.
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