Formerly Portuguese Kale Soup. The winters in New England and the winters in Montreal are fierce – they come on early and last long. One of the soups that the Portuguese whalers made while they were whale hunting off the coasts of New England was what is known as Caldo Verde soup (Green Soup) or Portuguese Kale Soup – a hearty nutritious and healthy soup. I remember making this 40 years ago when I first started going to Nantucket. Kale, then, was difficult to come by and very seasonal. Little did I know that kale would ever become such a trendy thing. We decided to update it a bit and make it even healthier than the original recipe by swapping the white potato for sweet potato, adding some carrots and celery and using chorizo instead of kielbasa. This makes it slightly sweeter, less fatty and more vitamin rich. This is a hearty main course meal when served with grilled baguette or as we do in Nantucket, Portuguese bread, – which is similar to San Francisco sour dough. This time we had it with our jalapeno corn bread which you can find here. Best enjoyed with plenty of beer or red wine, lots of parmesan cheese and a roaring fire.
2-3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 (12-ounce) package cooked chorizo sausage (sliced 1/2 inch thick)
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 large or 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
3 celery sticks chopped
3 large carrots peeled and chopped
1 green jalapeno pepper (remove seeds and dice very small)
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
Half a head of kale (remove hard stems and roughly chop the leaves)
In a large pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add chorizo; cook (stirring occasionally) for about 8 minutes until browned. Remove from heat and pour the chorizo (and juice) into a bowl or onto an aluminum covered sheet pan. You will add the drippings and chorizo back later on. Optional: if you want to cut down on fat then pour everything into a strainer to separate the chorizo from the drippings. Then set the sausage on a paper towel.
If necessary, add a bit more olive oil to your now empty pot, and heat to medium high heat. Add your onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent (3 minutes). Add garlic and continue cooking for about a minute.
Next add your broth, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, celery, jalapeno, and salt. Turn up the heat to bring to a boil. Next, reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Let it cook for about 20 minutes until potatoes can be stabbed with a fork.
As a final step, add your kale and chorizo. Cook until kale is wilted (about 5 minutes).