Saturday, October 29, 2011

Caldo Verde

I was visiting my friend Holly in Santa Cruz who harvested some beautiful Kale from her garden. Since she also had some newly harvested Potatoes, all we needed was to pick up some Portuguese Sausage to make this soup. Caldo Verde is the national soup of Portugal and one of my son’s favorites. It was one of the only ways I could get my kids to eat their greens. And, I usually used Collard Greens as they are apparently most like what they use in Portugal. He thought the Collard Greens looked like seaweed floating in a milky sea so he called it seaweed soup. It is a very simple yet hearty soup with a lot of flavor and cooks very quickly. I hope you enjoy this great soup!
Caldo Verde – Portuguese Potato Kale Soup

2 ½ lbs potatoes, peeled and diced (about 4 large)
1 shallot minced
2 garlic cloves minced
1 large bunch Kale or Collard Greens
8 cups chicken broth
Optional: 10 - 12 oz. Portuguese Sausage (Linguica) cubed

Bring chicken broth to a boil, add potatoes and garlic and cook for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, remove center rib of each leaf of the collard greens with a sharp knife. Roll up the leaves into a cigar-like shape and then thinly slice into shreds. Mash potatoes and garlic in the broth until creamy. Add collard greens and cook for 10 minutes more. If desired, add sausage at the same time. Serve with crusty peasant bread.

Five Element Analysis

Soup is a Water food and the cured Portuguese pork sausages adds even more of the Water Element. But the paprika and that bit of heat in the Linguica bring in just a bit of the Fire Element. The chicken broth base and the kale belong to the Wood Element. The Potatoes add the Earth Element and the shallot and garlic contribute the Metal Element. Only the Fire Element needs enhancing so add another side dish or dessert that contains a Fire Food. A tomato salad would be a good choice - we had some lovely strawberries to make it a balanced Five Element meal.

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