Monday, December 22, 2008

Caldo Verde

Or perhaps mine is more aptly called Caldo Vermelho.
Today was below 30 degrees. It was that kind of cold that cuts through to the bone. After work I was trying to warm up and came upon an article about the Portuguese soup Caldo Verde on Slashfood when I became inspired. I was planning on having my typical dinner of oatmeal--yes, even us foodies are unimaginative from time to time--when I thought to make a quick version of my own. Typical Caldo Verde uses chicken broth, chorizo or kielbasa, kale, and potatoes. Potatoes? No. Kale. No. Chicken broth? No. Okay. So to the pantry I ventured. I had beef stock, frozen spinach, and sliced cooked chorizo. Close enough, right?

I brought the beef stock to a boil and added the chorizo, and spinach. Then went in the garlic clove I turned into a paste by mashing the chopped garlic (with a generous amount of salt to work as an abrasive) with the flat end of my knife. Within minutes the chorizo began to render its fat and add a reddish, shimmery hue to the top of the stock. Being Italian I added pastina. I was out of potatoes and wanted to add some type of starch to the soup. Boil for 6 minutes and presto! The easiest and tastiest 8 minute soup you'll ever taste! I'm hardly a soup expert and I couldn't believe how much flavor was in this quick soup. It's definitely going into my file for a quick, warm, and hearty soup.

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