Friday, August 15, 2008

Caldo Verde soup

I love kale. I'm a huge fan of most leafy greens, including chard, collard greens, mustard greens, bok choy, amaranth, and so on. So when, a few years ago, my boss described to me Caldo Verde, the ubiquitous soup of Portugal, whose main ingredient is kale, I was intrigued.

Since then, I've been keeping my eye out for a chance to try the soup. But unlike in Cambridge (our fair city), there aren't a ton of Portuguese restaurants in Berkeley (a very minor trade-off, in my opinion), so I haven't stumbled across it.

However, on Leite's Culinaria (which has become part of my trawling-for-recipes circuit), there's a whole Portuguese recipes section, and Caldo Verde is at the top of the list. So last night I made it, and really liked it, though there are a few things that need working out before I attempt it again.

Since I'd never had it before, I didn't know if it was supposed to be as thick as it was. I cut the recipe by 2/3s, but then didn't do the best job calculating out what that meant for every ingredient, and I wonder if it's perhaps supposed to be a bit soupier instead of the stew-like consistency it was. Also, I chiffonaded (can this be a verb?) the kale, so it was in nice thin strips, but I should have also cut the strips into shorter sections so I didn't end up with knotty kale nests in the soup, which made it difficult to eat.

But it was delicious...and garnished with chorizo.
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