New-Style Caldo Verde
Makes 4 quarts, 8 to 10 servings, Recipe is from “Essential Emeril: Favorite Recipes and Hard-Won Wisdom from My Life in the Kitchen” by Emeril Lagasse with Pam Hoenig (Oxmoor House, 2015) and reprinted with permission of the publisher. Lagasse writes, “This recipe is an excellent example of how simple ingredients can be transformed into comfort food that will satisfy and sustain. My mother, Hilda, made this traditional Portuguese soup most every week when I was growing up. When I became chef at Commander’s Palace, I made it for my staff, using andouille sausage instead of the traditional chorizo. When I opened Emeril’s, I put it on the menu. While I prefer Portuguese chouriço, I use the more common Spanish chorizo here. Try them both and use what you like best.”
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound hot cured Spanish chorizo, cut into 1?4-inch-thick rounds
1 cup chopped yellow onion
½ teaspoon salt
1?4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons minced garlic
3 cups diced (½-inch) peeled russet potatoes
3½ quarts (14 cups) homemade chicken stock or store-bought low-sodium chicken broth
2 bunches red- or green-leaf kale, washed well and stemmed (3?4 to 1 pound)
1?4 cup packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
3 bay leaves
2 sprigs fresh thyme
Crushed red pepper, to taste
1?4 cup fresh mint chiffonade (see note)
1. In a large pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. When hot, add the chorizo and onion and season with the salt and pepper. Cook, stirring a few times, until the onion begins to soften, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic, potatoes, and 3 quarts (12 cups) of the stock. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, roughly chop the kale. Put 3 cups in a blender and the remainder in the soup pot. Add the remaining 2 cups stock and the parsley to the blender and blend into a smooth, juice-like puree. Set aside.
3. Add the bay leaves, thyme, and crushed red pepper to the soup, and continue to simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes longer, then stir in the kale puree and cook for another 10 minutes.
4. Remove from the heat and stir in the mint chiffonade. Serve the soup in large bowls with crusty bread.
Chorizo and chouriço: Chorizo, from Spain, and chouriço, from Portugal, are both dry pork sausages laced with paprika. ... Chouriço is smoked, has a more pronounced garlic flavor, and doesn’t contain quite as much paprika as chorizo. Spanish chorizo (which can be smoked or not) is a bit firmer than chouriço and is made using pimentón, or smoked sweet or hot paprika. Both types are available in degrees of hotness. (There is also Mexican chorizo, which is a fresh sausage.)
Note: To make chiffonade, pile several leaves on top of one another, roll them into a long cylinder, then cut across into thin ribbons.