Winter has arrived out of nowhere! Suddenly it’s cold! An icy wind has been blowing into our area from the Columbia River Gorge. I braved the freezing temperatures earlier today and raked up the last of our fall leaves. Afterwards, I came inside and decided to make a big pot of soup. Nothing says fall or winter more than a tasty bowl of yummy hot soup!
Caldo Verde is a potato and kale soup, originating in Portugal. The Portuguese however, add a spicy, smoky sausage to their version. My vegan take on this is incredibly flavorful, thanks to a generous sprinkling of spicy, smoked paprika. For tonights soup, I added a bit of crinkly savoy cabbage, a few tender carrots and a stalk of celery. Occasionally I include a can of rinsed and drained butter beans to make the soup more substantial.
Here is the recipe:
- olive oil
- 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
- 3 to 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
- smoked paprika, hot or sweet (I used about 2 tablespoons)
- 1 cup of finely diced carrots
- 1 stalk of celery, finely diced
- 5 to 6 medium russet potatoes, washed and cubed (I leave the peel on)
- 2 to 3 bay leaves
- 1 large bunch of dinosaur (lacinato) kale, finely sliced
- 2 to 3 cups thinly sliced savoy cabbage
- vegetable broth or a bouillon cube
- sea salt and freshly ground pepper
In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil.
Add the onion and sauté over medium heat until softened.
Add the garlic, and continue to cook for a couple of minutes.
Sprinkle some smoked paprika over the onion garlic mixture.
Cook and stir until fragrant.
Next, add the celery and carrots.
Stir a few times, then add the potatoes.
Cook for a few more minutes, then add enough broth to cover the veggies.
Add the bay leaves and savoy cabbage and bring the soup to a boil.
Turn down the heat and simmer for about 30 to 40 minutes.
In the meantime, heat just enough water to cover the bottom of a pot.
Add the kale and a pinch of salt to the boiling water.
Cover the pot and cook on high for just a few minutes.
The kale should be wilted, bright green and the water just about evaporated.
Lastly, either add the kale to the soup, or using a potato masher, smash some of the potato pieces before adding the kale.
Taste, and adjust the seasoning with maybe a bit more salt or smoked paprika.