Working late last Thursday, I felt the familiar growl low in my stomach. I looked at the time – 8:00pm. It suddenly dawned on me that I had completely forgotten to eat lunch and dinner. The day had left no time to think about food and I was feeling the consequences.
Naturally the topic of dinner came up as I stopped focusing on work, and starting thinking about what I needed to eat. The hunger was taking over and there was no way I was going to be able to finish off my shift without any form of sustenance.
One of my coworkers is a cute, little Portuguese woman that anyone would want as their grandmother. She pinches your cheeks, reaches up for a hug and tells you that you’re “getting to skinny and need to eat more”. Who doesn’t want a person like that in their life?
At the mention of dinner, she started talking about her kids, their regular Sunday dinner and her meal prep that commenced that Thursday morning. She talked about Portuguese egg tarts (recipe testing this bad boy right now!) and calde verde which is a creamy potato soup with chard or kale and spicy chorizo sausage. She reminisced of bacalhua – salted cod – and rice pudding. Sunder supper is a big deal for her large family and it takes days to prepare. She looked tired but happy, excited to feed her family the dishes of her country. I desperately wanted to be invited to this dinner. Who wouldn’t?
I’m sure she noticed the drool on my face as she was talking about her recipe for calde verde. It was hard to hide my eyes as they widened at the words “spicy chorizo sausage”. I gulped down another growl that was rising from my stomach. Her husband walked in and she spoke in fluent Portuguese to him. They spoke softly, their eyes darting in my direction. I had no idea what was happening. He left quickly, returning only moments later with a Tupperware container, filled with calde verde. She offered it up to me with big eyes and generous hands.
The soup was still hot, as if it was waiting just for me. It was hearty, creamy and salty. The potatoes filled my belly and the kale was still slightly crunchy. The spicy chorizo offered up an incredible flavour, lending it’s spicy, smoky flavour to the broth. It was a blur from there. I remember scraping the sides of the bowl, wanting more. I looked up and she was still standing there with a satisfied smile over her face. The garlic lingered on my tongue and my mouth was still tingling from the spice. My stomach was full and I was energized again.
I came home that night with grocery bags full of ingredients to make this delicious soup. I wanted to relive that soup again and soon!
Now for the disclaimer: calde verde is normally made with mashed potatoes and sliced kale while the sausage is added in while cooking. I blended mine into one creamy soup and added the chorizo at the end after frying it. So it’s fair to say that this recipe is not for the purists. This soup also calls for crunchy brie grilled cheese croutons that, I think, make this soup even more amazing. I mean, who doesn’t love cheese on e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g!?
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup chopped onion (I used a spanish onion)
- 3 garlic cloves, diced
- 3 lb yellow flesh potatoes
- 8 cups of vegetable stock
- 2 cups spinach leaves
- 2 cups, chopped kale
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup, diced Spanish chorizo sausage
- 6 slices of brie
- 2 slices of bread
- 2 tbsp butter
- Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large stock pot. Add in onions and garlic and cook until onions become translucent.
- Add in potatoes and stock. Bring to a boil then let it simmer until potatoes are tender and cooked through. Add in spinach and kale and cook for 5 minutes.
- Use an immersion blender to blend the soup until it's creamy and no large chunks remain. Return to the stove and simmer over low.
- Meanwhile, in a skillet or saute pan, heat 1 tbsp of olive oil over medium heat and toss in chorizo. Cook for 4-5 minutes until the chorizo starts to slightly crisp up. Remove chorizo and add into the soup. Reserve a few pieces of cooked chorizo to garnish the soup.
- To make the croutons, place the brie slices on one side of the bread and place the other slice of bread over top of the brie. Butter the outside sides of the sandwich liberally. Heat a pan over medium heat and add the sandwich to the pan. Let both sides brown then remove from the heat. Let it cook for 5-10 mins before cutting into small croutons
- When ready to serve, spoon the soup into bowls and garnish with croutons and remaining chorizo.