Recently, when I was traveling throughout Portugal, discovering the country’s delicious, seemingly endless bounty of regional cheeses and charcuteries, I found myself in need of a few vegetables.
Caldo Verde (or “green soup” originating in Northern Portugal and considered somewhat of a national dish) hit the mark. Filled with kale and potatoes, this hearty dish is a nutrient-dense comfort food, light enough for year round eating.
Traditionally, Caldo Verde is made with chorizo or linguica, but this version that I recreated back at home in California is vegan, gluten- and dairy-free.
Yield: 6-8 servings
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 shallot, minced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon sweet paprika
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 1 pound yellow potatoes, ½-inch diced
- 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1 large bunch kale, stems removed, very thinly sliced
- In a small stock pot, heat oil over medium heat.
- Add onion and shallot, saute five to seven minutes or until translucent.
- Add garlic, salt, black pepper, smoked paprika, sweet paprika and cumin and cook two minutes longer.
- Deglaze pan with white wine, scraping browned bits from bottom of pan. Cook, stirring frequently, until most liquid has evaporated.
- Stir in potatoes. Add broth, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are almost tender, about 25 minutes.
- Stir in thinly sliced kale and cook until wilted, about 10 minutes. Remove about 1 cup from the pot, cool slightly then puree in blender.
- Add pureed mixture back to pot, stir to combine and simmer a few more minutes before serving.
- Season with salt and black pepper as needed.