The days are undergoing the slow transition to spring. Some are sunny and warmer than the ones before. Others are grey and wet, unsure whether to drop rain or snow from the clouds. Like the outside, I here on the inside feel as restless as the weather. I ponder whether I should go outside and try my hand at gardening, or is that pushing it I wonder as the blue patches of sky are crowded out by the every growing cloud population above.
I chicken out. Instead of cleaning up the garden I have decided to finally get my act together and clean up my blog and get with the program. (Yeah, I know you have heard that from me before!) What can I say? Life gets in the way. I also have the dreadful fault of when pressuring myself, I end up rebelling by avoiding what I must do. It becomes a vicious circle for me. Knowing I must do things, avoiding doing those things, worrying because I can’t get past my mental block about what I have been avoiding…..I have become the Queen of Denial and Worry!
What to do? Make soup of course! Who doesn’t find a hot flavorful soup comforting? I know that after I eat a great bowl of soup I always feel much better. Add a freshly baked biscuit and you have a meal that is not only healthy, it lightens the heart.
The awesome thing about making soup is that you really don’t need a recipe. You just take what you have on hand and follow your taste buds!
This day I had some wonderful spicy Chorizo sausage, fresh kale, potatoes, onions, carrots, celery and a can of white beans so decided to make my own version of the Portuguese soup Caldo Verde. I originally came across this recipe in cookbook by the Frugal Gourmet, Jeff Smith on foods of our Immigrant Ancestors. The original recipe uses one pound of kale to produce the green color that is signature to this dish, hence the Verde part of its name. The first time I made it I followed the recipe exactly and was rewarded with a flavorful but very green looking soup. It was wonderful except for the fact that it was too green for hubby and mother in-law. It took me a long time to eat that whole big pot of soup by myself!
This time making it I cut way back on the onions and the kale. Not a word out of my husband on the green part of the soup, however, as a sauce and gravy guy, he was a bit skeptical when I placed before him what he thought was a watery looking soup. However, after the first spoonful, he stated with surprise, ‘you don’t need a thick soup for great taste!’, promptly eating one bowl before even biting into the biscuits I had made to go with the soup.
Need a pick me up? Do yourself a flavor and put on a pot of this soup!
1 bunch of kale
1 onion, cut in half and sliced thinly
1 clove garlic, minced
4 Chorizo sausage, cooked and sliced. The sausage lends a great deal of flavor to the soup broth, so try to purchase a good quality sausage for this recipe and spicier the better!
4 potatoes, peeled, and sliced
4 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 stalks celery sliced
2-3 quarts of water or chicken stock
1 can of white small beans
salt and pepper to taste
Remove the thick ribs of the kale and slice into thin strips. Place in a bowl of cold water and let soak for one hour. Drain well.
In a stock pot, heat a tablespoon or two of olive oil. Add the garlic, onion and celery. Saute until tender. Add the remaining ingredients, except for the canned beans. Cook for a minute or two and then add the water or soup stock. Bring to a boil and then turn down the heat to simmer gently for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours until the vegetables are cooked and the flavors have blended. Add the beans and then adjust the flavor with salt and pepper if needed. Serve with fresh hot baked biscuits to make a hearty souper meal.
Good Day and Good Eats!