Oct 02 2011

Soup’s On (Again)

Published by Christine at 1:40 pm under Soups

Yesterday afternoon, I was in Chelsea on some business, and when that was over, my husband and I thought we’d use the rest of our time in the city walking over to the Union Square green market. It has to be one of the best outdoor markets around, with dozens of vendors coming from the tri-state area, their booths replete with gorgeous fruit, vegetables, breads, honey, cheese, meats and flowers. I have no pictures to show for that outing, one because I had left my camera behind (bad, bad girl), and two because it was raining and thus not a particularly good time for a photo shoot. Woe is my blog.

Still, I did come home with some really nice things: fairytale eggplants (which will end up in a garlic sauce), beautiful tomatoes (probably the last of the season), some great bread, a butternut squash, garlic, potatoes and some baby kale. The moment I picked up the kale and potatoes, they told me exactly what I was going to make with them. Isn’t it wonderful when food talks to you? Assuming it’s not a sign of schizophrenia, the answer is a resounding yes. And so I went home with the knowledge that that evening, the kitchen would be made warm and cozy all over because a big pot of kale and potato soup would be bubbling away on the stove.

Last week’s post was about (a rather exceptional, I must say) butternut squash soup, and I know some of you might be wondering if The Flexitarian is slowly becoming The Liquidarian, but I do have a good reason for wanting to make soup again – although I hasten to add no reason is needed. I’ve been nursing a cold for a few days, and I really haven’t been in the mood to cook much of anything. It’s all been about tea and the occasional cookie (my daughter makes the most amazing Snickerdoodles you can imagine), and a large box of Kleenex. However, soup always makes me feel better, and I don’t mind peeling and chopping and waiting as long as I know there’s a big, steaming bowl of veggie goodness at the end of that rainbow.

Kale and potato soup, also called caldo verde, is a traditional northern Portuguese soup, and easily one of my very favorite things to eat. Other than kale and potatoes, the recipe also calls for onions and olive oil, as well as for spicy sausage, such as chouriço (chorizo). It should be served with large slices of crusty peasant bread, which you can rub with garlic if you like. For our vegetarian daughter’s sake, I skipped the chorizo this time, but note that it can be served on the side. Although non-traditional, I also like to add curry, which brings out the sweetness of the kale, and a bit of cream, which makes the broth velvety smooth. Muito bom!

Are you hungry yet? As luck would have it… :


Kale and Potato Soup


1 large bunch fresh kale, stemmed and cleaned
2 large russet potatoes
1 medium onion
1 clove garlic
2 Tbsp olive oil
6 cups broth or water
1/4 cup heavy cream (optional)
1 tsp curry powder (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

Chops the onion and saute in olive oil in a large dutch oven until translucent. Peel and wash the potatoes, cut in small (1/2 inch) cubes and add to the onion. Cook for a few minutes while stirring, until the potatoes start to color. Mince garlic and add; let that become fragrant (about 30 sec.). Chop the kale and add to the mix. Add curry powder.

Steaming and fragrant

When kale begins to wilt, add broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer gently about 30 min. Take off heat and, using an immersion blender, roughly blend some of the soup, being careful to a) not scald yourself and b) leave some pieces of potato and kale behind. This is not a smooth soup; it should be chunky. Add cream at this point if you wish, and serve hot with slices of crusty bread. A glass of riesling would be nice too.

Quick, give me a spoon!


2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Soup’s On (Again)”

  1. Angelaon 28 Dec 2012 at 4:22 pm

    I am a Canadian girl whose parents were both from the Azores Islands and I was practically raised on Caldo Verde. When I saw your version I was immediately reluctant…….but I tried it and love it! Change is good!!
    Thanks for the lovely twist.

  2. Christineon 28 Dec 2012 at 7:03 pm

    Angela, I’m thrilled you tried it – and enjoyed it! Thank you for stopping by to let me know!

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