Monday, 26 November 2012

Caldo verde

I absolutely love making this Portuguese classic of cabbage, potatoes and spicy sausage - it's a really simple but very nourishing soup that is easy to make and ready in under 30 minutes. This makes 2 portions (it reheats well).

This soup should be quite dense and chunky from the chorizo, kale and potatoes but be held together by a clear broth so it's almost like a casserole.

What you need: 
1 small onion, chopped
1 medium to large potato, diced into 1/2cm cubes
1 chorizo sausage, sliced
A very generous handful of curly kale, chopped
1/2 litre of stock
Olive oil
Salt, pepper

What to do: 
Sauté the onion in the oil over a medium heat until it turns transparent. Add the chorizo and fry until the fat starts to run off. Pour in the stock and add the potato. Season. Turn up the heat, bring it to the boil and then simmer for 15 minutes. Check the potato is cooked. Add the kale and simmer for another 5 minutes. Dish up.
Cook's tips: 
If you can't find kale, use spring greens or savoy cabbage and shred it finely.

If you've got one of those large rings of chorizo, about a third of it should be plenty. You can fry it off separately if it's very fatty and you don't want too much oil in the soup.

I've found that both floury and waxy potatoes work well and I don't bother to peel them unless the skin looks tired. Floury potatoes will start to break down once cooked. Don't overcook them as the liquor should remain clear.

Either vegetable or chicken stock is best. Do go easy on the salt when you season as some brands of stock can be very salty.