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Hearty Portuguese Kale Soup (Caldo Verde ) 

On a cold night, serve this soup with warm crusty bread for a complete and satisfying meal.

Ingredients:
3 lbs. medium yellow-fleshed potatoes, cut in half
 (Yukon Gold or Yellow Fin are perfect),
 48 oz. chicken stock
4 cups water
2 large yellow or white onions
6 large cloves garlic
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/4 pounds Portuguese kale leaves - a sizeable bunch
4 Portuguese  Linguiça  sausages - close to 2 lbs. total
Garnishes:  freshly grated Parmesan cheese
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

In a large heavy soup pot, combine the potatoes (peel them first, if you feel it's important, but I don't because the best nutrients are close to the skin) with the chicken stock, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook, covered, until the potatoes until almost tender – 20-30 min. or so, depending on your potatoes. (The cooked potatoes and stock will remain in the soup pot as you add the other recipe ingredients to the soup.)

While the potatoes are cooking, coarsely chop the onions and garlic and slice the sausages into 1/2 inch slices. Heat the olive oil in a large heavy saucepan, add the onions and garlic and sauté gently at low heat until they are translucent (5 – 8 minutes). Add the sliced sausages and cook them together for a few minutes longer. Turn off the heat.

Prepare the kale: cut out the white center ribs of the kale leaves and discard. Stack three or four leaves together and roll them up into cylinders like cigars. Then, slice into one 1/4 inch wide ribbons. Repeat until you sliced up all the kale leaves.
When the potatoes are tender, add the sautéed onions, garlic and sausage mixture, the shredded kale leaves and the 4 cups of water to the soup pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer and cook, covered, for about 30 to 40 minutes, or until the kale is quite tender. Serve hot with freshly grated Parmesan cheese to sprinkle over serving.
8-12 servings, depending on how hungry everyone is!

Renee's Notes:
I know it's not traditional, but here are some additions I have added when I have made the Caldo Verde at various times: 2 cups sliced carrots (for color) added in to cook with the potatoes; 1 cup finely chopped Italian parsley (I love the taste of parsley in soup), which I added just before serving.
Be sure to have crusty bread to help you mop up and enjoy every last drop in your soup! The potatoes seem to melt into the kale- rich broth and add a satisfying creamy texture to the soup. The flavorful Linguiça sausage is on the lean side and doesn't render a lot of fat, so I've never felt this soup was too oily; it's a deliciously full- flavored complete meal in a bowl and tastes just as delicious and satisfying heated up the next day. If you don't have Portuguese kale you can use regular kale instead - it won't be authentic, but it will taste fine.

Find more great garden-inspired recipes in
 Renee's Cookbooks:

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