It rained today, and not a torrent but a steady on-and-off fall which briefly inconvenienced me in the morning while biking to Caffe Trieste before beginning my day at The Bowl. Little things like the weather can be inspiring, though, and with the fall of this welcome rain my mind immediately turned to a classic of Portuguese cuisine: Caldo Verde (Green soup).
While I have made this many time in the past few years, I had myself an ‘ah ha moment’ while cooking this, given that lately I’ve been cooking a lot of French dishes which are often so based on sauces…and sauces are started as a flavor base that can go through so many steps.
So. I first noticed that this recipe only called for water. Yeah, just simple water; no cheats per se by using tetra-packed low-sodium broth. So you might wonder…where might the flavor come from?
It started with aromatic veggies, in this case onions and garlic sautéed in some olive oil, then inundated with two quarts of water. Into this goes then, the next step of thinly sliced potatoes. Twenty minutes later the salt less mix has cooked the potatoes to a soft slurry, easily broke and adding a thickness to the broth as the potatoes come to pieces.
Meanwhile, one takes a few links of Spanish chorizo and cook it up in a skillet for several minutes, draining it of fat and once the potatoes have cooked through, finally you add a couple of teaspoons of salt, some pepper, and the newly sliced medallions of chorizo. This turns the broth a slight pepperish red from the pimenton in the sausage, and with a few stirs, the bits of fat in the chorizo start integrating into the broth very nicely.
But you aren’t really done yet. Now you add some finely julienned kale (I used dinosaur kale) and after another five minutes, you have a very thick, hearty stew laced with green from the kale. A final drizzle of olive oil and you have a wonderful broth of thick soup to get you through a rainy evening. I had also heated up some brioche buns to go along with it but the soup was more the adequate.
So I learned with the ah has speaking out to me at each stage. Aromatic veggies, potatoes for thickening, and finally some salt and fatty pork sausages to round things out.
Get the recipe here.