Caldo Verde, literally translating to green soup, is a very common dish in Angola. The main ingredient is Couve Trunchada – a big leafy cabbage – available in plenty locally. It is traditionally made with pork sausages, but I make vegetarian caldo verde with potatoes instead.
I discovered Couve Trunchuda entirely by chance when I mistook it for spinach. On the bill it came up as Couve Trunchada and I had no clue how to use it. Later I learned it is an open cabbage. Before that for me cabbage was always that tight round ball of leaves but trunchada was interesting. And soon I learned of Caldo Verde, the most popular recipe made with it. It is considered a national dish of Portugal and the key ingredient in it is the cabbage and not just any cabbage but Couve Trunchuda in particular. After that there was no question of how I’m going to use it. Caldo Verde it was!
Also if you don’t have couve trunchuda, you can use kale to make the green soup (Kale and potato is also a common combination in soups). You can also add beans to the soup.
Caldo Verde – Portuguese Green Soup
By Ashima Goyal Siraj
Preparation time: |Cooking time: |Serves: 4
1 cup couve trunchuda/ Kale, stems removed and cut into thin strips
2 tbsp Olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 inch piece of ginger, chopped
4 medium potatoes, peeled and sliced
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
3 cups vegetable stock
Salt and pepper to taste
- Boil potatoes in 3 cups of water, drain and keep aside. Mash them a little using a fork so that they are still big chunks.
- Heat oil in a deep pan
- Once the oil is hot, add ginger and garlic. Saute till you get a nice fragrance of garlic.
- Add onions, sauté for a minute.
- Add carrots and stock and bring it to a boil.
- Add the boiled potatoes and the couve trunchada/ Kale. (I learned the best way to thinly slice it is to roll the leaves together into a cigar shape and thinly slice it).
- Cook for another 3-4 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper and serve hot!
Just a few days back I was talking about celebrating mistakes. Well this soup is definitely a celebration of a very tasty mistake:).
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