I’m interested in all things green today, even though it’s more of an orange kind of week. Ah well…here’s a photo of some tiny green Seckel pears that I bought today at the market.
The annual Opelika Dog Parade, known officially as “Howl ‘OWeen,” takes place tonight. It’s a colorful event, involving costumed pets and their ambitious owners. Lots of barking and tat–like a low-rent dog show. We love it.
If the weather holds out — it’s forecast to rain this afternoon — Mimi and I will walk into town to catch the action. Last year, we saw a Standard Poodle with day-glo-pink fur: reason enough to head over.
I’ve made dinner in advance of tonight, something colorful to match the spirit of the evening: Caldo Verde, Portuguese ‘Green Soup.’ Typically, Caldo Verde is a hearty potato soup tinted green with kale and studded with small Portuguese sausages. My version retains all of the traditional ingredients, but I usually make it using more chicken broth than potatoes. Still, it’s definitely verde.
Caldo Verde is soup for cool weather– thick, spicy, and filling. It’s easy to make and tastes even better after a good, long spell on the stove or in the refrigerator. It smells ridiculously good while cooking and is a treat for the eye.
1 tbs. olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, smashed
1/4 lb. spicy pork sausage (preferably Conecah brand), cut into 1/4 inch pieces, divided
8 cups water or chicken stock
4 large russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
1 cup shredded cabbage (optional)
3 cups kale, preferably Lacinato kale, hard ribs removed, thinly sliced
1 oz. can of garbanzo beans (optional), drained and rinsed
1 tsp. smoked paprika
Salt & pepper
Sauté onion, garlic, and half of the sausage in the olive oil. If necessary, drain off any oil in excess of 1 tbs. Add the potatoes and water or chicken stock. Bring to a boil and simmer on medium heat until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Roughly mash the potatoes until soup is thick and somewhat creamy. You want some chunks of potato to remain. Add the kale, cabbage, grabanzo beans and the remainder of the sausage. Simmer until the greens are tender and the sausage is cooked through, about 10-15 minutes. Add smoked paprika and salt & pepper to taste. The soup can simmer on low heat almost indefinitely. Add some water if the soup looks too thick. Adjust seasonings and serve hot with some crusty, warm bread.