Rinku from Cooking in Westchester is hosting Weekend Herb Blogging and this week I'll be taking a look at Kale.
Kale is a member of the Brassica Oleracea family and its use dates back to the fourth century BC. It's well known for its anti-oxidant properties and is a good source of Vitamins A, C and K along with Vitamins B6 & E, Folate, Niacin, Pantotheic acid, Riboflavin and Thiamine. It also contains Calcium, Copper, Iron, Manganese, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Selenium, Sodium and Zinc.
The dish I'm making this week has its origins in Portugal - their classic soup called Caldo Verde (Green Soup). There seems to be quite a few variations but at its heart is a base of onions, garlic and potatoes cooked in anything from water to a pork bone stock. Once the potatoes have softened, they are either pureed or roughly mashed before the finely shredded Kale leaf is added.
The soup is so named due to the vibrant green colour of the Kale as it cooks. Once served it's topped with crispy sausage such as Chorizo and eaten with crusty bread.
As the weather begins to cool here, it makes an ideal warming lunch.
Potato and Kale Soup
1 large red onion, finely sliced
3 garlic cloves, finely sliced
700 grams potatoes, cut into cubes
150 grams kale, leaves only, shredded
1 chorizo, diced
salt and freshly ground white pepper
Heat olive oil and a small knob of butter in a large pot over a medium heat. Once the butter has melted add the onion and garlic and sauté slowly so as to soften the onion but not burn the garlic. This should take about 5 minutes but do keep watch and stir often to ensure it doesn't brown too quickly.
Add the cubed potatoes and stir through - cook for a few minutes before covering with water (or stock). Cover and let simmer until the potatoes are soft and starting to fall apart.
While this is happening, slowly sauté the diced chorizo so it renders its fat and becomes wonderfully crisp, then set it aside.
With a potato masher or the back of a spoon roughly smash the potatoes in the pot - chunky or smooth, it's up to you. I've left some larger pieces of potato in this version as a point of contrast.
Keeping the soup on the heat, I add about a third of the cooked chorizo to the pot along with all the shredded Kale. Stir this well and let it continue to simmer until the Kale has softened. At this stage, taste and season with salt and freshly ground white pepper. When seasoning, do take in consideration the spice levels of the sausage you are using.
When cooked, pour into bowls and top with a generous quantity of chorizo.
Tagged with Weekend Herb Blogging : WHB