Caldo Verde - Sweet and Savory Kitchens

Margaux says…

A soup similar to this was posted by a bunch of people on Pinterest recently, which I made and liked a lot. Then Aunt Suzy emailed me this recipe, which was very similar but looked better. Instead of using cream to make it a creamy soup, you puree some of the potatoes, which I like better. I waited a few weeks to try this one out so that we didn’t over do the potato-greens-sausage soup around here, and I’m so glad I got around to making this! It is fantastic…blows the other soup out of the soup pot. Ha! And my husband, Jason, raved about it as well, claiming it to have the “best broth ever.” He’s really good about complimenting my cooking, but this was more emotion than he usually shows about food. So I put this one in the “win” column and will be definitely making it again!

I think that you can switch out different kinds of greens/sausage/potatoes to suit your likes. I made it with spicy Italian sausage because that’s what I had on hand, instead of the chorizo. Next time I’ll make it with the chorizo probably, but the spicy Italian was still good. I prefer Yukon gold potatoes, but russet would be fine, too. And as for the greens, I would stick with tougher, bitter greens like collard, or any type of kale. I don’t think spinach or chard would hold up as well. The main thing that made this soup stand out to me was the process of taking out part of the potatoes and pureeing them to make the broth thick and creamy.

Aunt Suzy says..

As Margaux mentioned, our initial foray into the greens/potato/sausage soup arena was a recipe we saw on Pinterest that we both made exactly according to the recipe, me with chicken and Margaux with pork sausage.  Then my guy Randy shared this recipe with us from Cook’s Illustrated, which we tried shortly thereafter. I’ve made the Pinterest one with regular kale and unpeeled russets and another time with Lacinato kale, unpeeled Yukon Golds and fully cooked Italian sausage from Trader Joe’s. And then I’ve made this recipe exactly as specified.  All are really good, but I think this one is the winner.  Pureeing some of the potatoes with olive oil creates an emulsion that makes for a very silky texture without dairy. Today, I’ve made one of our favorite stewsand Randy asked me if it included sausage – hehe, guess we’ve had enough sausage around here for a while.

Caldo Verde
adapted from Cook’s Illustrated

Ingredients

¼ cup EV olive oil

12 ounces Spanish-style chorizo sausage, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (fully cooked, not fresh Mexican)

1 medium onion, chopped fine

4 garlic cloves, minced

Salt and pepper

¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes, or more to taste

2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces

4 cups chicken stock or broth

4 cups water

1 pound collard greens, stemmed and cut into 1-inch pieces

2 teaspoons white wine vinegar, optional

Directions

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add chorizo and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer chorizo to bowl and set aside. Reduce heat to medium and add onion. Cook for a few minutes till translucent. Add the garlic, 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, pepper flakes and black pepper to taste. Cook, stirring frequently, another 3 minutes. Add potatoes, broth, and water; increase heat to high and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, until potatoes are just tender, 8 to 10 minutes.

Remove 3/4 cup solids and 3/4 cup broth to a bowl or measuring cup.  Set aside. Add collard greens to pot and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in chorizo and continue to simmer until greens are tender, 8 to 10 minutes longer.

Add 2-3 tablespoons olive oil to solids/broth mixture that was set aside. Place in blender jar (or use immersion blender) and process until very smooth and emulsified, about 1 minute. Remove pot from heat and stir pureed soup mixture and vinegar, if using, into soup. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve. (Soup can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.)

Cook’s Notes: If you live near a Whole Foods, Amylu Chicken Chorizo in a 9-ounce package works really well with this and the 9-ounces seemed like enough.  You can try with or without the vinegar. AS didn’t use it and Margaux did.

Aunt Suzy says . . .

The calendar says soup, but the weather says salad.  Nonetheless, the kale is so fabulous at the farmer’s markets that I decided to make a kale-based soup today.  We went for a walk today in the Big Woods State Park south of Minneapolis, and I thought it would be great to come home to an already prepared meal.  If it were actually cold out, I would pair this with a hearty sour rye or multi-grain bread, but baguette seemed perfect given the warm weather.  A light red Cotes-du-Rhone is a nice match for the flavors in this soup.

Makes 8-10 servings, depending on appetites

2-3 tablespoons EV olive oil

1 carrot, small dice (about 3/4 cup)

1-2 celery ribs, small dice (about 1/2 cup)

1 onion, small dice

1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary, or 2 teaspoons dried

4-5 garlic cloves, minced (about 3 tablespoons)

2-3 chicken chorizo sausages, like Amylu brand, optional

1 1/2 cups diced roasted tomatoes, homemade or small can fire-roasted

1 cup dry white wine

10 cups liquid, chicken stock, vegetable stock or water

5 leafy sprigs fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried

1 1/2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, 1-inch chunks (about 5 cups)

15 packed cups kale, in 2-inch pieces (roughly one bunch)

salt and pepper to taste

Heat a soup pot of at least 6 quarts capacity over medium-high heat.  Coat the bottom of the pot with olive oil and heat to shimmering.  Add the carrots, celery, onion and rosemary to the pot.  Turn down the heat to medium and saute for 4-5 minutes.  Add the garlic and chorizo and saute for another 4-5 minutes until the vegetables are soft and starting to brown a little.

Add the tomatoes and cook for a couple of minutes.  Next add the wine and simmer for a few minutes to burn off the alcohol.  Add the liquid of your choice (I used chicken stock) and the thyme sprigs; stir to blend.  Bring to a boil, turn down heat and simmer for 30 minutes.  Remove the thyme sprigs, taking care that the leaves remain in the soup.

Add the potatoes and simmer for 10 minutes.  If you like a thicker soup, you can simmer for up to an hour to break down the potatoes.  We like a brothier soup and “just done” potatoes, hence the shorter cooking time.

Add the kale and simmer for 15 minutes more, making sure not to overcook the kale.  Taste and then add salt and pepper.  I did not put in additional S&P since the oven roasted tomatoes had plenty as well as the homemade chicken stock.  We added a tiny amount of each at the table.

NOTES ON INGREDIENTS:   Either fully cooked Andouille or Chorizo sausages, pork or chicken, would be great in this dish.  If you do not add the sausages, I recommend 2 teaspoons smoked paprika added with the tomatoes.  I used “regular” green kale, but Lacinato would be excellent also.  I did not peel the potatoes out of personal preference.  If you want to thicken the soup a little, I recommend peeled russet potatoes over the Yukons.

And it was a beautiful day for a walk!

Margaux says…

I think my mom got this recipe from a chef friend-of-a-friend several years ago…I’m kind of cloudy on the details of where it came from. But what I do remember is that we tried it right away (mainly out of curiosity-it sounded to easy to be true), and it was fabulous. I have since made it many, many times. I make it for company, for regular week-day meals, and for weekend “special” meals. It only takes an hour (well, an hour and five minutes, for the prep time of cutting potatoes), and it’s only 3 ingredients. The only down-side is that your house will get smoky, the fire alarm may go off, and you will need to clean your oven. I always make it when my oven is already pretty dirty, and ready for me to run the self-clean cycle.

As many times as I’ve made this, I’ve never altered or added anything. It turns out perfectly every time, so what’s to mess with? I’ve used all three citrus fruit options, and there really isn’t a difference in the flavor of the chicken, in my opinion. I usually serve it with a vegetable, like steamed green beans or sauteed spinach, but tonight I made this quinoa salad with it and it was great!

Roasted Chicken and Potatoes

1 whole roasting chicken
1 lime, lemon or orange, halved
1-2 lbs. red potatoes, halved
1 metal roasting pan

Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Rinse and pat-dry chicken, and place breast-side up in the pan. Place citrus fruit into cavity of chicken, and tie legs together with kitchen twine. Place potatoes around the chicken in the pan, as close to the chicken as you can get them. Roast for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and allow to sit for about 15 minutes before carving.

Dad’s Pot Roast

November 3, 2011

Margaux says…

For the most part, I tend to cook a new recipe every night.  But there are a few things that I make on a regular basis (meaning, 2-3 times a year), and this is one of them.  I am a meat-and-potatoes kind of gal…have been since the beginning.  Pot roast is one of my favorite things, next to steak and mashed potatoes, and my dad gave me this recipe for it when I was in middle school.  I’m pretty sure it’s my Granny’s recipe, although she may not have put in the garlic or herbs. Anyway, it’s been a standard for me ever since!

You have to get a nice, marble-y piece of meat…that’s what makes it good.  You can add as many potatoes and carrots as your pot will allow…it seems I can never cook enough carrots!  Just add a little more water if you need to when adding the veg.  The water doesn’t have to completely cover, because the tight-fitting lid will create a steam bath in there, but it should almost cover the ingredients.

The best part about pot roast (well, second best, next to the taste!), is that it is super easy to make!  I like to make it on days where I have a lot of other things going on…it only has a few ingredients, and prep time is only about 10-15 minutes.  If you’re making gravy (which is totally necessary, in my book), that will take another few minutes at the end, but it’s worth the trouble.

Dad’s Pot Roast

2- 2 1/2 lb. Boston or chuck roast
1 medium onion, quartered
2 tbsp olive oil
1-2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp marjoram
1/2 tsp oregano
2-4 potatoes, quartered
2-4 carrots, cut into 3″ pieces
2-3 cups water (or more, if needed)

You need a dutch oven, cast iron is best-it adds flavor! Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Salt and pepper both sides of the meat. On top of the stove, over medium-high heat, heat oil, and brown meat on both sides. Add water to the top of the meat and add onion, herbs, garlic and 1/2 tsp salt. Place a tight-fitting lid on top and cook in the oven for 1 1/2 hours. Remove from oven and add potatoes and carrots (and a little more water if needed), and cook one more hour. Mmm-mmm-good.

Pan Gravy

I like to use Wondra flour for my gravy–it makes it super easy. First thing you need to do is remove the meat and vegetables from the pan, and strain the juices. I usually reserve 2 cups of the juices for gravy, because my family likes gravy…it makes a lot of gravy. Put the 2 cups of strained juices back in the pan, and turn the heat on medium. Whisk together 4 tbsp Wondra flour and 1/2 cup water. Whisking constantly, add flour/water mixture to the pan, and continue stirring until boiling. Boil a few more minutes until thickened. Season with salt and pepper.

Sometimes I like to get fancy and make red-wine gravy. In this case, just substitute 1/2 cup red wine for 1/2 cup of the juices. It gives the gravy a lot of yummy flavor!

Aunt Suzy says . . .

This simple potato salad was inspired by a recipe both Margaux and I made last year – and loved –  that had many more ingredients, including tuna.  My inspiration for this simpler version is that the green beans have been really good lately, along with the fact that I “over-bought” basil at yesterday’s farmer’s market. (I have a feeling you will be seeing a number of posts this week using basil :-))  It occurred to me that I could pare back the ingredients from the more complex salad to just potatoes, green beans and basil and use the dressing from that salad.  It turned out great!  We served it with a beautiful piece of salmon from Wild Run Salmon, who also sell at the farmer’s markets in the area, and a refreshing French rose wine.

The Dressing

3 tablespoons EV olive oil

juice of 1/2 to 1 lemon (depending on size and your taste)

juice from 1 large garlic clove (use a garlic press)

1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped, optional

Combine and whisk all ingredients till thorougly blended and a little emulsified.  Add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

The Salad

2-3 pounds small potatoes (red, yellow or fingerling)

1 pound greens beans, ends trimmed and snapped in half

1/2-3/4 cup basil, coarsely chopped

Place the potatoes into a medium saucepan and cover with water.  Bring to a boil, turn down heat and simmer for about 15 minutes until potatoes can be pierced through with a fork.  Place on a towel and let cool to room temperature.  In the meantime, steam the green beans for 5-6 minutes until tender, but not overcooked.  Immediately plunge into ice water to cool and then pat dry with a towel.

When both potatoes and beans are cool, combine them in a large bowl with the basil.  Add the dressing and stir to thoroughly blend.  Taste and add salt and black pepper if needed.

Margaux says…

This is the potato salad that I grew up with and that my mom grew up with.  Actually, I can’t really say that  its Grandma’s recipe, but its pretty close.  My mom changed some things, and then I’ve changed some things.  I’d never even seen the recipe until I asked my mom to email it to me last week so that I could submit it to food52’s “best potato salad” contest this week.  I thought I’d actually take a look at the original recipe, to use as a reference for quantities and such…I pretty much wing it every time I make it.  It turns out that Grandma didn’t even follow the recipe either.  So I just went ahead and made it last night, and kept track of what I was putting into it.  Here’s what I came up with:

Ripe Olive Potato Salad

  • 3 cups new red potatoes, cut into 1 1/2″ pieces
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup oil cured black olives, pitted and sliced
  • 2 hard boiled eggs, sliced
  • 2 celery stalks, sliced
  • 1/2 cup cucumber, diced
  • 1/4 cup pimento or roasted red pepper, diced
  • 1/4 cup red onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • paprika for garnish
  1. Boil potatoes in salted water until just tender, about 15 minutes.
  2. Place cooked potatoes into a 9×13″ glass baking dish, and pour olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper over them. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, up to overnight.
  3. In a large bowl, combine marinated potatoes, olives, celery, cucumber, pimento, onion, and one of the eggs. Gently mix in the mayo. Top salad with the other sliced egg, and sprinkle with paprika.

Some side notes:

We usually just use canned black olives, but its really way better when you get oil-cured black olives from the olive bar at your grocery store.  Also, Grandma, my mom and I have always put radishes in it, and omitted the pimento.  But when I saw the original recipe, it had pimento and no radishes, so I tried that version and loved it.  I thought it went really well with the olives.  I also got the pimento at the olive bar instead of jarred (they’re thinly sliced roasted red peppers).  My mom thinks that Grandma just didn’t like pimento, so she substituted the radishes to keep the splash of red color.  I’m wondering if she also did it because radishes were always in the garden, pimento is not.  But if you agree that pimento isn’t your thing, the radishes are also quite good in it.

Aunt Suzy says

It’s potato salad season!  I love exploring different kinds of potato salads and saw this one in a recent Coop flyer.  I usually base the type of potato salad I cook on the season and what’s available.  The nice thing about this one is that it could be made year round given the ingredients.  And what’s not to like about opening a few cans for many of the ingredients?!! Of course all amounts can be varied to personal taste!

Margaux says

I didn’t help make this one at all, but it was delicious to eat!  And it looked pretty easy to make.  I also think this would be good served warm as a side dish in the fall or winter.

The Vegetables

2 pounds small potatoes, red or gold or a combination

3-4 cloves fresh garlic

2 tablespoons olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

1 pound artichoke hearts (not marinated), quartered (one 14-oz can drained)

1/2 cup roasted red peppers, diced

1/2 cup kalamata or oil cured olives, cut in half

1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped

2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

The Dressing

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

juice of 1/2 lemon

3 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Wash and scrub the potatoes and then quarter or chunk them so all pieces are roughly the same size.  Place in a large mixing bowl.  Process the garlic through a press or mince, then add to the potatoes along with the olive oil.  Place on a baking sheet and roast in the oven till crisp on the outside and tender – approximately 30 minutes.  Remove from oven and set aside to partially cool.

While the potatoes are roasting, whisk together the dressing ingredients until thoroughly combined and starting to emulsify.  In a large mixing bowl, combine the artichokes, red peppers, olives, oregano and parsley.  Add the dressing and mix well.

Add the potatoes while still warm.  Let cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally.  Serve at room temperature.