The caldo verde can pretty much be considered as Portugal’s national dish. Asking various people for their recipe, I found, as usual, that the simple country folk (for want of a better term) would offer simple, stripped down versions – in one case so simple that it consisted of nothing other than potatoes, water and Kale. Just as overly complicated dished are unappealing, I found this to be going too far in the other direction! Luckily everyone else included the Portuguese chouriço as an integral component, and most included onion and garlic, so I believe this version is highly representative.
One extra ingredient I am not seen using in the video was a chicken stock cube. The purists amongst you will be up in arms, I know! However many versions of this soup do contain other meats and I thought it did require a little more depth of flavour.
Ingredients for 2 or 3 people:
1 Portuguese chouriço, peeled and sliced(a Spanish chorizo will do fine)
a large handful of very finely shredded kale (role up the leaves and slice across)
1 litre water or (better still) light chicken stock
2 large potatoes, peeled, large dice
1/2 a large onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper
Place the onion, garlic and potato in the boiling water. Add the oil and simmer for half an hour. Remove the potatoes to a plate and mash with a fork until quite smooth. Return to the pot, add the kale and stir around well to create a smooth soup texture. Add the chouriço and simmer for a further five minutes.