Like Italian Wedding Soup, Caldo Verde is a celebration of meat, greens and broth, with the star carb as tender, simmered potatoes. This soup is as hearty as it is easy to make, and a great use of winter kale when in season, cheap and plentiful. The soup, Portuguese in origin, traditionally uses linguica for the sausage, but I’ve made this in a pinch with kielbasa, andouille, chorizo and even Bruce Aidell’s chicken sausage. Regardless of what ingredients you employ, you can expect a warm, nourishing bowl of comfort that is both simple to prepare and good for you.
Quick Caldo Verde
3 qts. of chicken stock
6 small potatoes, peeled and quartered
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed
1 lb. of mild sausage, removed from casings
1 bunch of fresh kale, ribs removed and chopped
1 tsp. of black pepper
Bring quarts of chicken stock to a boil. Toss the potatoes, garlic and kale into the pot. In a sauté pan, brown the sausage until crumbly and no longer pink. Drain the grease from the sausage and add the meat to the soup. Simmer until the potatoes are very tender, about 20 minutes. Using a potato masher, mash the potatoes right in the stock pot until the potatoes are loosely mashed. Serve.