Caldo Verde (Kale Soup)
Richly flavored with linguica, perhaps the definitive Portuguese sausage, this soup is even better when it is made a day ahead and refrigerated overnight to marry the flavors. If your knowledge of kale is limited to Woody Harrelson’s kale extract venture on the series “Cheers,” you’re in for a wonderful surprise.
- Garlic pork sausage - 1 lb (Portuguese Linguica or Chourico, or Creole Andouille)
- Olive Oil - 1 tablespoon
- Onion - 1 large, diced
- Garlic - 4 cloves, minced
- Red Bell Pepper - 1/2, diced
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Chicken Stock - 1 gallon
- Bay Leaves - 5
- Kale - 1 head, washed, stemmed, and roughly chopped
- Baking Potatoes - 2 large, peeled and diced
- Dried red pepper - 1/4 teaspoon, crushed
Slice the sausage and saute over medium heat in the olive oil. When the sausage is cooked half way, add the onions, garlic, and red bell pepper. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until the vegetables are translucent, then pour in the chicken stock. Heat the mixture to the boiling point and add the bay leaves and kale. When the soup returns to a boil, stir in the potatoes. Add the crushed red pepper. Simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
Caldo Verde may be made a day in advance. Refrigerate overnight and reheat before serving. This procedure brings out the flavors of the ingredients.