This is a quick and easy soup recipe that has lots of rich, multi-layered flavors. It takes a little over 30 minutes from start to finish and tastes like it took all day. I had picked up some kale to make a salad, but didn’t get to it quickly and the kale got a bit wilty, so I knew I would have to cook it. I thought about making a kale hash or something and then got a brainwave to try and make a caldo verde, a soup I had when I was in Spain that was made with potatoes, kale and sausage. I didn’t have linguica or chorizo and probably should have compensated by adding a bit more spice, but to be honest, this mild version is truly delicious and it didn’t need the spicier sausage.
So, to begin, mince 3 cloves of garlic and dice 1 onion. Saute in olive oil with one bay leaf, salt and pepper. Cooking just until softened, but without any caramelizing. Add 2 quarts of water and 4 cups of diced new potatoes (I used fingerlings) and let boil for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, in another pan, cook 2 sausages, drain and slice. I used bratwurst because that is what I had. While the sausage is cooking, trim the stems from a pound of kale, rinse the kale, squeezing it dry and chop up fine. By now the potatoes should be softened so you can take a masher and mash them up in the soup pot. If you’re ambitious, you can pull them out and puree them, but I didn’t bother. Once they are mashed, I added the sausage and the kale, put the lid on and let cook another 5 to 10 minutes. I pulled out the bay leaf and let cool a bit and it was done.
It has a rich, earthy heartiness with the subtle spiciness of the bratwurst. I could have added a tiny bit of jalapeño with the onion and garlic, but it’s delicious without as well. A linguica or chorizo would be a bit spicier and would definitely not need more spice. I think it will be even better tomorrow.