Friday, January 22, 2010

GREEN SOUP! (no, not pea soup)

Caldo Verde

Yup.  Green soup.  Or if you want to be 'fancy' - Caldo Verde!

For the past week LA has been cold (well, for LA) and wet.  Very wet.  Streets are flooding, mudslides are sliding and the rain keeps coming.  Perfect soup weather.

But we wanted to try something new.  Well, a couple of weeks ago, Richard and I were invited to lunch with good friends who live in Ojai.  Along with crusty bread and a chilled bottle of white wine, they served caldo verde with chicken.  It was delicious. The 'green' is kale.  I had never had kale before and loved it so, when the rains came, Richard decided to make it.  But instead of chicken, he made it with turkey kielbasa which is what the recipe actually calls for.  Well, maybe not 'turkey' kielbasa, but he went w/ the less 'fat' version (I'm dieting)...

So, for the past two nights we've had green soup.  Absolutely delicious.  Pretty healthful.  And way, way cheap for all of us who are on budgets.

Tonite tofu!   Me, who loves meat! I'm not sure about this -- but I'll let you know.


Servings: 6 to 8
Adapted from "The New England Cookbook" by Brooke Dojny (via the L.A. Times)

Caldo Verde is a Portuguese soup.  This is just one of the many different caldo verde recipes.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 pound sausage, preferably Spanish chorizo, linguica or kielbasa, thinly sliced
1 large onion, chopped
4 cups chicken broth
1-1/2 pounds boiling potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced (since I'm dieting, Richard
    substituted turnips for the potatoes)
1 pound kale, thick stems removed and sliced crosswise into 1/4-inch strips
2 cups water, more as needed
salt and pepper to taste
Best quality olive oil, for garnish (preferably Spanish)

In a large saucepan or soup pot, heat the oil over medium heat until hot.  Stir in the sausage and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sausage browns and the onion softens - about 10 minutes

Stir in the broth, potatoes, kale and water.  Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to a simmer and cook, partially covered, until the potatoes (turnips) are very soft (almost falling apart) and the kale is tender - about 30 minutes.

Use a large fork or whisk to break up some of the potatoes (turnips) against the side of the pot to thicken the soup.  Adjust the liquid as desired, adding more broth or water.  Season to taste w/ the salt and pepper.  Garnish each serving w/ a drizzle of olive oil, if desired.

Each of the 8 servings:  253 calories; 11 grams protein; 20 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams fiber; 15 grams fat; 5 grams saturated fat; 25 mg cholesterol; 2 grams sugar, 559 mg sodium.

Again - delicious, healthful and CHEAP!!!!


Richard said...

Maybe we can start a Soup of the Month Club.

ilona saari said...

Well, since I love soup - that would be great w/ me.

Lana said...

This soup sounds really good. I like Kale (but not peas!) Soup of the month club sounds like a great idea.

Norrth said...

Kale reminds me of Collards. I wonder if that would work as a substitution. The soup looks great and sounds, from the ingredients, like it tastes great.

ilona saari said...

I don't know if collards is a good substitute since I've never had them -- kale is fairly sweet, which is why I loved it. But I suspect any green you like would be fine - This soup would be great w/ spinach as a substitute - so collards should be great, too.

TravelsWithDan said...

OK-I'll go down the tofu path with you but kale was like eating something left over from gardening. Yeah, I had it in a soup too that was high-taste and low-calorie. Still, it was too close to weeds for me...not the kind of 'grazing' I'm used to!


ilona saari said...

I think you're right about tofu - tho I'm not rushing out to have it again even if it can taste like lobster ... Being a 'greens' person, I'm putting kale on near the top of the 'greens' list.

Richard said...

Kale has an unusual, nutty taste. I like it better than collards. And, kale is better for you. Crammed with vitamins.