Caldo Verde – Portuguese Green Soup

Be still my heart. I miss Portugal. This soup makes me realize just how much I miss it. Travel planning is in full force around here. I don’t want to jinx where we think we’re headed yet, but once I know for sure, you’ll know. I promise.

Sidenote: I’m in love with the idea of making the other soup we had in Porto, papas de sarrabulho, but the odds of me actually cooking with pork entrails and blood are next to none. Maybe the one Portuguese restaurant in Portland will make it one of these days. I would be all over it.

[The brown theme rages on]

Caldo Verde Soup

Inspiration: Food52

Ingredients

  • 2lbs cauliflower florets
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil + more for roasting
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon red chile flakes [more or less depending on your tastes]
  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2lb smoked kielbasa, sliced in 1/4″ rounds
  • 1 bunch of mustard greens, rinsed, drained and shredded
  • 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • salt and pepper

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 450° and line a baking sheet with parchment or a Silpat. In a large bowl, toss the cauliflower florets with a olive oil, cumin, paprika, and salt and pepper and spread them out in a single even layer on the baking sheet. Place the pan in the oven and roast the cauliflower for a good 30-40 minutes. It’ll be tender and starting to char on the outside. Remove the pan from the oven and set aside.

In a Dutch oven or your soup pot of choice, heat the olive oil on medium high heat. Sauté the onion until it starts to brown. It’ll be soft and translucent at this point. Add the garlic and red chile flake. Stir constantly for about 30 seconds to allow the garlic to get fragrant and brown but not burn. Burned garlic is the worst. Pour in the chicken stock and cauliflower and bring everything to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and let the mixture cook for about an hour. The cauliflower will be really tender. Remove from the heat and puree either in a regular blender or in the pot with an immersion one.

Pour the soup back to the pot if you removed it and put it on low heat. Add the sausage and cook for 10 minutes. Add the shredded mustard greens and parsley and cook for another 10 minutes. Stir in the cilantro and lemon juice. Taste for additional salt, pepper, and lemon.

Whatever you don’t eat the day of will thicken up considerably when you eat it the next day. It’s almost a glorious stew.