My Version of Caldo Verde

We have family in Portugal and because of their influence and the fact that my mother speaks perfect Portuguese, we grew up singing Portuguese children songs and saying some things that for my Spanish family and friends sounded rather silly, like “coco” instead of “caca” when referring to a piece of dirt or trash on the ground. We also grew up enjoying many foods and dishes that were not typical in Spain. One of these dishes is Caldo Verde, which is a soup made with potatoes and kale or watercress.

I bought a bunch of kale about a week ago, and I didn’t want the rest of what I had left to spoil. So, I decided that a gloomy day like today deserved a warm soup. I’ve altered my mother’s recipe by swapping the cauliflower for the potatoes and added leek and cumin to spice up the flavour.

Ingredients:

  • 500g kale
  • 1 medium cauliflower
  • 1 onion, peeled and cut into four
  • 2 leeks, peeled and cut into large pieces
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and whole
  • sea salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin (optional)
  • fresh scallion for garnish (optional)

Process:

Rinse and cut up the kale, removing the stalks. Rinse the cauliflower and cut into large florets. Place all the ingredients, except the seasonings and olive oil into a pot with abundant water. Cook over medium heat until vegetables are tender. Drain, but not completely.

Puree with a hand blender or in a stand up blender. Add the olive oil, cumin, sea salt and pepper and blend well. If the soup is too thick, add more water. Pour back into pot to heat up. Serve garnished with scallion, if so desired.

This soup pairs well with a chilled Albarinho white wine from Galicia.