I don't really have a story for you with this one. It's just a really good soup that I wanted to share with you. I had a bunch of kale that was growing extremely tired of living in the fridge, so I put it out of its misery. I was reminded of this recipe while searching for a copy of the Islenos Cookbook (which everyone I know seems have, but cannot recall where it was purchased). Caldo Verde is a Portuguese soup based around greens and potatoes. Sometimes chorizo is added but it isn't entirely necessary, and considering my attempt at a vegan version turned out to be completely inedible, I left it out this time.
Some notes: Tuscan kale is sometimes sold under the name Dinosaur Kale or Lacinato Kale. Chiffonading the kale is essential to the texture and appearance this soup. A chiffonade is essentially a really fine julienne, basically you want your kale to look shredded. Yukon Gold are the potatoes I use, any type of firm, baking potato would be good. Cajun Blackening Seasoning blend can be found at most supermarkets and online. Powdered Bay Leaf is easily made by placing dried whole bay leaves into a spice or coffee grinder and processing until a powder is reached. It takes all of 10 seconds. If you like your soup a little thinner, add more water and adjust the seasoning accordingly. I like my soup a little thicker, so I tend to evaporate a lot of the water out.
1 bunch Tuscan Kale, stems removed, washed and dried
2 lbs. baby Yukon Gold Potatoes, peeled, rinsed and finely diced
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, grated
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon vegan Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Louisiana Hot Sauce
2 tablespoons Cajun Blackening Seasoning blend
1 teaspoon powdered bay leaf (use a spice grinder)
8 cups water
salt and fresh black pepper to taste
Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onions, salt and peper. Saute until transparent, about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and saute another 5 minutes. Add potatoes, stirring to mix well, and cook for 5 minutes. Add kale, stirring to mix well, and cook for 8 minutes.
Add water, stirring to mix well. Raise heat to high and bring to a rolling boil. Boil, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, allow soup to come to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Add Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, powdered bay, blackening seasoning. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and cook for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste and correct seasoning. Serve hot, drizzled with additional olive oil if desired.