Caldo Verde (Portuguese sausage and kale soup)

From Christopher Sullivan

Serves (not sure)

Says Christopher: “This is a take on the traditional Portuguese sausage and kale soup. You can feel free to use many different types of sausage in the recipe, which traditionally would be chorizo or linguica sausage . I like to use a smoked kielbasa from a Polish deli, but even supermarket brands like Ekrich Farms will suffice. Same for the broth, which is usually a chicken stock, but I like to make a homemade vegetable stock for this soup. Feel free to add as much or as little spice to it as you like.”  [Ed: Christopher says he likes kielbasa, but for S&B he used linguica from Paulina Meat Market, a full-bodied tube steak exuding the clean flavors of pork, garlic, and paprika.]

Ingredients

3 tablespoons of olive oil
I large yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 pound pork sausage, (kielbasa, chorizo, linguica)
2 bunches kale, cleaned and torn into small pieces, discard heavier bits of stems
3 baking potatoes, peeled quartered
10 cups stock or water*
1 tablespoon kosher salt
fresh ground black pepper
2 tablespoons Sriracha chili sauce

Preparation


Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven or stockpot over medium heat. Add the onion, and sauté until translucent but not browned, stirring frequently, about five minutes or so. Slice the sausage into 1/4-inch coins, and add to the oil and onion and sauté, continuing to stir frequently. You want the sausage to release its oils and flavors into the pan a bit. Add the garlic and sauté for three more minutes, stirring constantly. When fragrant, and when the sausage has started to caramelize a bit, add the broth and bring to a light boil. Add the potato and all the kale, cover, and simmer for about 30 minutes until the kale really begins to soften. When the potato is tender enough, mash pieces with the back of a spoon to break up until all the potato is either bite size or creaming into the soup. Season with the salt and pepper, and add the Sriracha. Feel free to add as little or as much as you would like, depending on how spicy you like it. I like to add a little at a time and let it cook for a bit longer and taste again, since the soup will continue to develop spice. It is nice to serve this soup with a crusty piece of bread, or a crostini, and a little drizzle of olive oil. Extra hot sauce on the side for those adventurous types is nice as well. Enjoy!

* Homemade vegetable stock is really easy to make. You can use all sorts of vegetable scraps and peels, but celery, carrot, and onion do the trick really well. Roughly chop 2 large onions, white or yellow, 3 stalks of celery, and 2 large peeled carrots. Place in a stockpot along with a bay leaf and about 10 whole peppercorns. Cover with water by about 3 inches and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes. Turn off heat, add fresh herbs of your choice, or dried, cover, and let steep for another half an hour or so. A couple sprigs of thyme are always good, as is fresh parsley.

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