There is a chill in the air this week, it smells more wintery, the heat is kicking on regularly instead of just in the morning and evening.
It's soup weather. And knitting weather. Well, it's always knitting weather, but now it's both knitting and wearing of the knits weather, I guess.
Last night we ate one of our favorite dinners, a big batch of caldo verde soup. It's the national dish of Portugal and it is 100% delicious and comforting and warming. I make mine vegetarian-ish*, but many begin with browning chorizo or another spicy sausage. I promise you, and like all soup recipes there are endless variations, that it is plenty hearty without sausage in it.
I tried the slow cooker for it yesterday and it turned out perfectly.
Here is my very loose recipe:
2 32 ounce cartons of broth, I used no salt added chicken. Veggie works, too.Or homemade broth.
2lbs-ish of potatoes, I used red, roughly chopped. I don't peel them, the skins have all the vitamins, right?
1 large shallot, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon of minced garlic
red pepper flakes, salt, cayenne pepper, paprika to taste
1 large bunch of kale
milk or cream
* chicken broth isn't a vegetable, but my husband can eat chicken broth and feel OK so I sometimes use it for soup base he will eat. I often use vegetarian broth, last night I happened to have the chicken broth to use up.
Chop your taters and onions and dump in the bottom of a crockpot, cover in broth and add spices, cook for 4-5 hours on high, 7-8 on low. Taste the broth. Does it need salt? Add some if it does, I like to add cayenne at this point, too. Pepper in the crockie tends to intensify with long cooking times, so I add red pepper flakes at the beginning and ground cayenne at the end when I use it.
Once the broth is seasoned, chop up your kale and add it in and cover for 30 minutes to let it wilt and cook. Stir well, add cream or milk if you want a creamy broth, about a 1/2 to 3/4 cup. Add a generous drizzle of olive oil, just 2-3 around the pot and let everything heat through. The fat from the oil helps your body make vitamin A from the kale, if you used meat or as a base or real cream in the broth you probably don't need to add any fat unless you just like olive oil.
Serve in your favorite bowl with good bread. There is a hint of spice that is nice and warming, the kale is wilted but not slimy, it holds up well in soup. Swiss Chard works well for this, too.
And I finished a pair of socks yesterday, my Latte Lace socks using Sqwish Snuggle Toes in Latte.