Thursday, January 26, 2006

Caldo Verde

Caldo Verde is Portuguese for Kale Soup, a hearty delicious soup I grew up eating. I get a hankering for it often during the winter months. Nothing warms the cockles of the soul or will cure what ails you quite like a bowl of Kale Soup. This is a stick-to-your-ribs soup that gets better and better the longer it sits in the refrigerator (you can even freeze it if you haven't finished it off in a week or so - although that's never happened to me).

This recipe is sort of a combination of my Mother's tried and true recipe and a recipe I found on The recipe on Epicurious called for white beans which I was willing to try; however, the Portuguese gods were not having it. Whole Foods did not have any white beans if you can believe that. Instead I got kidney beans which is what traditionally goes into Caldo Verde. Some ingredients are not to be messed with apparently.

Caldo Verde (Portuguese Kale Soup)

1 lb. dried kidney beans (or canned - but put in at the very end if you use canned so they don't get mushy)
2 onions, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 garlic cloves (or more), finely chopped
5 cups chicken broth
8 cups water
1 Parmesan cheese rind (some supermarkets sell just the rinds, otherwise buy a 1/4-lb piece of parmesan and use just the rind for the soup. eat the rest ;-)
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper (or to taste)
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
8 carrots, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
1 lb kale, stems and center ribs discarded and leaves coarsely chopped
1 shin bone (with about 1/2 lb meat attached so you can pull it off later)
1 marrow bone (not necessary but adds nice rich flavor)
1/2 cup sliced linguica (Portuguese sausage) or chorico (a little spicier)

Cover beans with water by 2 inches in a pot and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let stand, uncovered, 1 hour. Drain beans in a colander and rinse with cool water.

Cook onions in the olive oil in an 8-quart pot over moderately LOW heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add beans, broth, 1 quart water, cheese rind, marrow bone, salt, pepper, bay leaf and rosemary, and simmer, uncovered , until beans are tender about 50 minutes. Add shin bone and carrots and cook over another 30 minutes. Finally, add in kale and linguica and cook until kale is tender, another 12-15 minutes. Season soup with salt and pepper. Take the shin bone out, cut off the meat that's on the bone into bite-size pieces and put back in the soup. Discard the shin bone as well as the marrow bone and the bay leaf.

Invite a bunch of friends in from the cold and serve with a nice thick slice of fresh buttered bread. Enjoy!


Anonymous always bring tupperware said...

Do not waste a drop of the broth. Soak it up with bread, put the bowl to your lips and drink it - whatever you have to do to get every last drop - this is good stuff!

8:53 AM  
Blogger Lynne said...

agreed. a nice italian bread will do the trick.

9:30 AM  
Blogger The Guy said...

Thanks for the recipe. Can't wait to try it.

11:06 AM  

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