Saturday, September 15, 2007

Comfort Food on a chilly Saturday

The chill is settling in the air ever so slightly and as a result, today I'm all about the comfort food. I'll start with a Portuguese Caldo Verde - a potato and vegetable puree. Very traditional and you've probably tasted it as the first course at a typical Portuguese wedding.

Caldo Verde (Creamy Portuguese Potato & Greens Soup)

Makes 6-8 servings


2 tsp olive oil
2 large onions, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
250 grams spicy chouriço (or spanish sausage)
4 medium potatoes, peeled and halved (750 grams)
8 cups chicken stock
1 tsp of salt
2 cups of finely shredded collard greens
4 cups water


In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until they are translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add all the ingredients except the water and collard greens. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 45-50 minutes.

In a separate pot, combine water, 1 tsp of salt and collard greens. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5-7 minutes. Drain greens and place in a pot.

When the potato mixture is cool enough to handle, remove chouriço, slice it thinly and set aside. Transfer the mixture to a blender or food processor and purée. Return to the pot. Add the greens and combine well. Season with salt and pepper if necessary. Ladle soup into bowls and serve with crusty bread.