My friend Tony suggested I make a caldo verde soup with all my food co-op kale. My only regret was that it took so long to follow his advice.
My family came over for dinner after work one night back in July, right before I left for a glorious two and a half weeks of vacation in the California sun. I thought that this soup would be super easy and ready in a heartbeat. Unfortunately, the potatoes decided to be difficult and take two hour to cook, which was bizarre, but other than that this dinner came together quite nicely.
Caldo verde is a Portuguese soup or stew, and I used this recipe from Mario Batali. I spent the night before simmering a big pot of chicken stock and getting all my potatoes and kale chopped up and ready to go, so the next night all I had to do was chop and sautee the onion and garlic, and then add the broth and potatoes and let that pot go to work.
Temperamental potatoes besides, this soup/stew came out pretty great, probably because there's lots of great stuff in there. I was happy to make excellent use of my window herb garden with parsley, mint and cilantro. The best part though, was arguably the chorizo. The recipe foolishly only calls for a half pound of that delicious Spanish sausage, and even though I doubled that it still was not enough.
That was definitely my only nitpick with the recipe. The kale was nice and hearty, the potatoes added body and the chorizo and red pepper flakes gave a bit of a spicy heat that I totally loved (which of course means it totally wasn't spicy at all, since I am a complete wimp about that sort of thing). I got some nice bread at Balthazar, which soaked up all that flavorful broth perfectly.