The Azorean version of the rather timid Caldo Verde from the Portugal mainland, means business…and how!
The food from the volcanic islands of Azores, situated off the mainland, is that spunkier, more vivacious cousin of the family. The recipes typically call for chunky vegetables, lots of meat and a generous dash of paprika. Where do we sign up?
The Azorean variation of the green broth packs a punch with an array of vegetables (traditionally potatoes, rutabagas, carrots and kale,) red kidney beans and sausage. This divine tasting melange is showing every promise of becoming one of our all-time favorite soups and that’s high endorsement people! Also, we will take chunky potatoes of the Azorean version over the pureed potatoes of the mainland version, anyday. And Anthony Bourdain agrees with us too…ha!
This soup, in generous portions, is hearty enough to constitute a whole meal…a meal fit for a Queen.
Recipe for Azorean Kale Soup (serves 2-4)
Adapted from David Leite’s The New Portuguese Table
Rutabaga – 1 peeled and chopped
Dried red kidney beans – 1 cup
Carrot – 1 medium, peeled and chopped
Potatoes – 1 large, or 2 small, peeled and chopped
Onion – 1 medium, finely chopped
Kale – 1 bunch
Linguiça or chouriço, cut into 1/4 inch thick rounds
Garlic – 2 cloves, chopped
Bayleaf – 1
Crushed red pepper flakes, salt and pepper
Beef stock (or chicken stock) – 3 cups
Soak the red kidney beans overnight. Cook the beans with some salt and keep separate (we used canned low sodium kidney beans and they were great too!) Heat some oil in a sauce pan and brown the Linguiça. Once browned, remove the sausage from the pan and place aside. In the leftover oil in the pan, add the chopped onions, garlic, bayleaf and the crushed pepper. Once the onion starts to turn golden brown, add the potatoes, carrots and rutabagas. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Then turn the stove to medium-low, close the pan and let simmer. Once the potatoes are mostly cooked, add the kale (the kale can be roughly torn up into pieces for this recipe.) Finally add the red kidney beans, the sausage, salt and pepper. One variation is to grind up some of the beans with the broth that is cooking, and add it to the soup. This lends a thicker consistency to the soup.