Caldo Verde - Potato & Rapini Soup
Portugal's famous "green broth" is a dish that's both healthy and hearty. Best enjoyed in winter or early spring, which the grelos are at the peak of their season, this soup is in demand and served year round. Originally from the North, caldo verde has become so ubiquitous throughout the country that it can be found everywhere, even at McDonalds!
- 1 onion
- 10 tbl extra virgin olive oil
- 6⅓ cups water
- 2 cloves of garlic, sliced
- ½ lb of grelos (rapini or broccoli rabe), cut into thin strips
- ¾ lb of Portuguese chouriço (400 grams)
- 1⅓ lbs potatoes (4 large)
- salt to taste
- Wash the grelos, remove the stalks and cut into very thin strips
- Peel and quarter the potatoes and an onion
- Boil the potatoes, onion and garlic in lightly salted water with half of the olive oil for about 15 mins until the potatoes begin to break down.
- Meanwhile, boil the chouriço links in a separate pot until done.
- Once the vegetables are tender, mash them a bit with a fork and then blend with a hand mixer.
- Bring the soup to a low boil and add the grelos, cooking uncovered until tender, about 10-15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, slice the chouriço into thin strips.
- When the grelos are tender, adjust the seasoning to taste, add the remaining olive oil and mix in the chouriço slices
- Serve with thick pieces of Portuguese cornbread
The thinner the grelos are sliced, the faster they will cook. To make preparation easier, roll the leaves up tightly into the shape of a cigar, and slice using a very sharp knife. If the grelos are not in season, they might be a little tough so you can blanch them prior to adding them to the soup. Also, if you want to strengthen the chouriço flavor of the soup, you can boil the sausage links with the potatoes, onion and garlic and remove just before blending. If you are unable to find <em>grelos</em>, you could replace them with turnip greens.