Caldo Verde (Portuguese-Brazilian Green Soup)
Brazilian people loves caldos. We have all kind of them, and restaurants specialized in serve them all through the night (24 hours), for people who works night shift, or just coming home after a party in the weekends, or whoever just feel like have a warm up dish anytime. We have even them delivered in home.
This particular dish is originated in Portugal, but is so common all over Brazil and wherever Brazilians are, that much of us don’t even remember anymore that it is Portuguese. To who is interested, Brazil was colonized by Portugal, and our kitchen is very influenced by it’s dishes, of course with a touch of so many hands of other peoples and cultures that formed the Brazilian people. Huge European, Asian, Arabic, African communities and many others, mixed with the Brazilian Indians that was already in there when the country was “discovered” molded our typical culinary, as our heart, and our way of being.
This caldo is made of potatoes, sausage, bacon, collard greens (originally is used kale, but in Brazil we use collard greens).
5 medium-large potatoes, peeled, and cut into cubes
2 liters of chicken broth
1 tsp olive oil
250 g. sausage (Portuguese, calabreza… or another one that you like), sliced
200 g bacon, chopped
900 g collard green, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 small onion, chopped
1/4 tsp dried red pepper
1 tsp garlic powder (optional)
salt and to taste
2 Tbsp cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream
Beginning with the potatoes, we going to cook them in the chicken broth. While they cooks, in another sauce pan, we add the olive oil and fry the bacon, no more fat need to be added, bacon and sausage has enough fat.
When the bacon is almost crispy, add the sausage and let it fry. Add the red pepper, and when you smell the pepper fragrance, add the garlic, onion and cook until onion get translucent.
Back to the pan with the potatoes, as soon that they get cooked, blend them with a mini primer, or potato masher, in the pan with the broth, until it get smooth and with no pieces of potato, almost a cream. Add this cream to the other pan with the bacon, sausage and onion. Mix well, and add the collard greens at once. Mix well, cover the pan and let the collard shrink, but not cook too much, they might stay a little crunchy.
Test salt and pepper, if you like add a little garlic powder, and add the heavy cream. Let heat but not enough to boil, and serve immediately.
Sprinkle the individual bowl with Parmesan cheese and slices of toasted ciabatta. Hummm, This is so good in a cold night, creamy and so tasty