Monday, 11 February 2008

using up the box part 1: caldo verde

yesterday i made two dishes out of the veg box. one was ratatouille which i'll feature tomorrow, and the other was Caldo Verde.

Caldo Verde is a hearty Portuguese soup/stew made of potatoes, cabbage, and linguica sausage. I haven't found any Portuguese ingredient purveyors in Glasgow yet. Let me know if you know of one! Otherwise i'll try a mail-order of linguica from here. Another alternative would be to try it out with luganega sausage as apparently both varieties of sausage stem from the same family of people. To be honest though, I made it with chorizo sausage and it was just fine!

I must have first tried Caldo Verde when I was on holiday in Provincetown, MA. There are a lot of people of Portuguese descent there and you can find lots of places serving Caldo Verde. Here is a nice write-up about Provincetown's Caldo Verde reputation.

On to the recipe. I used the one from The Hairy Bikers' Cookbook. I really enjoy their programs and especially like how they use food to make a connection with a new place. The recipe in the book serves approx 8 people so I halved it:

Caldo Verde
3 baking potatoes, peeled and diced
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 bay leaf
750 ml chicken or vegetable stock
150 g chorizo
large bunch kale or greens
1 tsp smoked paprika
olive oil

  1. In a large pan, sweat the onions in olive oil for about 5 minutes until they start to soften. add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes more. add the chorizo and cook and 5 minutes, until the sausage starts to brown.

  2. Add the potatoes and stir until they absorb some of the oil that has been released from the sausage. Pour in the stock and add the bay leaf. Simmer until the potatoes are tender and falling apart.

  3. Meanwhile, finely chop the greens. I used the shredding disc on my food processor to do this, but you're fine to just finely chop them with a knife. the key is to not have any large pieces of the thick woody stalks.

  4. When the potatoes are ready, remove the bay leaf from the pan and mash the potato into the broth making a thick chowder-like consistency. Blanch the greens in boiling water for a minute or two, and add to the potato broth. Season to taste.

  5. Mix together the smoked paprika and some olive oil and stir into the soup just before serving. Serve with toasted sourdough or rustic bread to mop up all the yummy juice.

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