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22 February, 2020

Eat Portuguese! Caldo Verde

Posted in : Appetizers, Continental Portuguese, Portuguese Food, Portuguese Recipes, Tapas & Small Bites on by : HugoE521 Tags: , , , , , ,

Caldo Verde is the holy grail of soups. It lends itself to vegans and meat eaters. It is great for kids and drunks.  It is served at communions and new year’s eve.  In Portuguese communities, you ate this – probably daily. Your non-Portuguese friends ate this and probably still call it “the green soup”.   Caldo Verde is the late-night post-clubbing snack in Lisbon (alongside a Tosta Mista), that sick day feel good remedy and a formal event appetizer all in one.

Caldo Verdeo is so famous that it was elected as one of the 7 wonders of the Portuguese Gastronomic World.  Starting as a staple dish of the North, it took over most of Westeros and moved onward on to East … or something like that.

In a nutshell: It’s awesome.

The only trick here is paying attention to the details, although few they are critical. I’ve successful made this recipe Kale as well but Collards is critical here. It surprises me that somehow the South of the USA, with collards being a stale side,  hasn’t grabbed onto this soup yet.  So here’s your chance to get ahead of the curve for your next southern soiree. Make this soup and you’ll have a happy, healthy even heroic choice for meals to come.

Here’s my recipe:

  • Russet Potatoes, 5 medium, peeled
  • Yellow Onion, 1 medium, peeled
  • Garlic cloves, 2 large whole
  • Collards, one bunch, washed
  • Olive Oil, 1/4 cup
  • Portuguese Chouriço (optional – skip this to keep it Vegan)
  • Smoked Paprika, 1 teaspoon (if not using chouriço)
  • Nutmeg, 2 dashes
  • Sea Salt, 2 teaspoons
  • Black Pepper, 1 Teaspoon
Directions to Make Caldo Verde

Cut the onion and potatoes in quarters then place them in the pot along with the garlic, olive oil, spices and chouriço (if using); Fill with water so that it covers the potatoes complete and place to boil; Remove stems from the collard leaves; Bundle the collard leaves together and roll them into a cigar shape (a big cigar) work in batches if the leaf rolls are too think to handle;  cut the leaves into 1/4″ slices (about the thickness of a school pencil); Once all are cut into slivers, cut the slivers across so that they are no longer than 2 inches long (usually about 3 cuts perpendicularly); Once the potatoes are soft, remove the chouriço and let it cool, then slice into circles; Insert the immersion blender and puree all ingredients until you get a thick broth; taste the broth and season with additional salt and pepper if necessary; Add the steaming broth halfway into the soup bowls then fill with collards and top with 4 to 5 chouriço slices;

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