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PORTUGUESE POTATO AND KALE SOUP

Eating Local
by Sur La Table with Janet Fletcher

If Portugal has a national soup, it is this one, known as caldo verde, a rustic and rib-sticking meal in a bowl. The ribbons of kale must be sliced into the finest possible shreds -- as fine as a blade of grass, some say. At some markets in Portugal, shoppers can buy the kale already sliced by machine. The name caldo verde -- literally, "green broth" -- reflects the abundance of kale in the pot.
Serves 8


INGREDIENTS

• 3/4 pound kale, preferably Tuscan kale, center rib removed
• 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
• 1 large yellow onion, minced
• 3 cloves garlic, minced
• 6 Yukon Gold potatoes, about 2½ pounds total, peeled and thinly sliced
• 1 tablespoon kosher or sea salt
• 2 quarts water
• Freshly ground black pepper
• 1/4 pound linguica or Spanish-style chorizo sausage, sliced 1/4 inch thick


DIRECTIONS

1. Stack a few of the kaIe leaves at a time and slice crosswise into ribbons as fine as possible. The ribbons should be no more than 2 inches long or they will be awkward to eat.

2. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over moderate heat. Add the onion and garlic and saute until the onion has softened about 10 minutes. Add the potatoes, salt, and water. Bring to a simmer cover partially, and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes.

3. With a wooden spoon mash the potatoes against the sides of the pot to thicken the broth. The texture does not need to be completely smooth, but most of the potatoes should be crushed.

4. Stir in the kale and several grinds of black pepper. Taste for salt. Simmer gently, uncovered, until the kale is tender, 10 to 15 minutes.

5. Fry the sausage slices in a medium nonstick skillet over moderate heat, turning once, until crusty on both sides.

6. Ladle the soup into warmed bowls. Top each portion with 2 or 3 sausage slices. Drizzle each portion with olive oil. Offer any remaining sausage on the side. Serve immediately.
 

 

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