Portuguese Kale Soup (Caldo Verde)

“Considered by many to be Portugal’s national dish, caldo verde is found everywhere — in the dining rooms of Lisbon’s most luxurious hotels to the humblest of country homes. It’s a versatile dish: Serve it as a one-course meal at lunch or as a light supper in the evening. What’s crucial when preparing it is that the kale is cut into extremely fine slices; that’s what creates the soup’s distinctive character”.—John Villa, Leites Culinaria.

Inspired by my own mother, I make this soup weekly for my family. It’s definitely a favourite. Believe it or not I actually make up a pot of this on camping trips, a nice bowl of kale soup while sitting around the evening fire is perfect!  My kids will love it for lunch at school before running out for afternoon recess in the snow.
1 large  onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced, 1 bayleaf
10 ounces chouriço, diced
6 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
8 cups cold water
1 pound kale or collard greens, cut into very fine julienne
Salt and pepper to taste
1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions, bayleaf and cook until they are translucent. Add the garlic and half the chouriço and cook for 2 minutes. Add the potatoes, add the water, bring to a boil and lower the heat, simmering until the potatoes are almost done, about 15 minutes.2. When the soup is cool enough to handle, purée it in the food processor and return to the pot. Add the greens, bring everything back to a boil and simmer for 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, ladle into bowls, and garnish with a drizzle of olive oil.For other inspiring Portuguese recipes check out the cookbook:The New Portuguese Table by David Leite