Caldo verde is a traditional Portuguese soup made from potato, chorizo, garlic, and a bunch of leafy greens, such as kale or chard. In this spin, I include even more greens to the recipe by way of parsley and cilantro to give it just a bit more brightness, complexity, and of course, to make it even greener. March is a great time to get into green!
A few friends and I have been doing what we call "#craftsoup" nights where the host prepares soup and everyone crafts as they eat. The purpose of soup is a meal that's easy for the host and easy to eat while you're crafting. I'm always on the lookout for soups to prepare for these nights that are simple, quick, crowd-pleasing, and a complete meal in themselves (one of the rules of #craftsoup night is the host doesn't make anything beyond soup, though I break that rule often). This meal definitely checks all of these boxes and any soup that includes a pound of green leafy vegetables while tasting rich and satisfying has my vote! Serves 4 as a main course, 6-8 as a side.
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
3 garlic cloves, diced
1 large yellow onion, chopped
4-5 ounces chorizo (I like to use Palacios brand purchased at Berkeley Bowl), sliced 1/4 inch thick
2 cups water
2 cups chicken stock
3-4 Yukon Gold potatoes (about 1.25 pounds total) chopped
2 teaspoons white pepper (preferably freshly ground)
Salt to taste
1 pound Red Russian kale (about 1 large bunch), stems discarded and leaves finely sliced
1/2 cup combination of fresh parsley and cilantro, diced (cilantro can be replaced by parsley for the cilantro-haters out there)
Heat the tablespoon of olive oil and butter in a large pot on medium low. Add the garlic, onion and half of the chorizo and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens, about 6 minutes.
Add the water, broth, and potatoes and bring to a boil. Simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.
Using an immersion blender, purée the soup and add white pepper and salt to taste. Bring the soup to a boil. Add the kale and remaining chorizo (reserving a few pieces of chorizo for garnish) and simmer until the kale is wilted, about 3 minutes. Just before serving, stir in herbs, drizzle with olive oil and garnish with chorizo and herb sprig.
Serve with: Buttermilk cornbread