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¡¿Mi Caldo Verde está Rojo!?

{Dearest ________,}
I knew it the moment I saw the picture and said the name.  It seeped out of my head and into a whisper.  To no one but myself...I just needed to say it out loud.  Caldo a soft, but confident whisper...escaped my lips.  Soon I would be standing over a fragrant pot of Caldo Verde.  My cupped hands would be warm around their steaming bowl of infused liquid...treating me to a heady, spice-perfumed facial.    It happened on a familiar visit at one of my regular haunts, Souper Sundays.  I was just there...taking in the soups, fantasizing over oxtails...when I spied it.  Wish you were here.  It was so seductive with its white creamy potato base peeking out from the dark green kale that surrounded it.  There were even a few pieces of golden-orange chorizo nestled on top.  I just know I got googly eyes.  As I'm wont to do, I began looking for a little history and some other examples  It's actually a classic Portuguese dish,  but was embraced by and became equally loved in Brazil.  See.  Fate.  This month our Regional Recipes destination is Brazil...and I had yet to figure out what to make.  Until then. 
The version that I made ended up being a good fusion of two recipes that were very different from each other, yet amazingly similar.  (The version that started it all, from The Taste Space and Nourished Kitchen's version).  I would have loved to have gotten my hands on some chouriço or linguiça, so as to make it more traditional, but alas I went with fresh chorizo instead...which did aid in my broth's red tint...that, and the chiles I decided to use.  I used waxy, not starchy potatoes and I didn't mash or break any of them up for body because I was more in the mood for a clear broth.  But I did not skimp on the kale.  I'm pretty sure I've mentioned my over-affection for kale.  My body was just screaming for those dark, green leaves!  So I still had lots of green.  And an abundance of soul-warming flavor and depth.  You should definitely come over and warm up with a bowl of Caldo Verde.  Hope to see you soon!
{best wishes, Heather}
Caldo Verde
from the kitchen of girlichef
(inspired and adapted from The Taste Space & Nourished Kitchen...see links above)
yield: ~1 gallon...give or take

2 Tbs. olive oil
~1 lb. fresh chorizo
1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
3 carrots, scrubbed and sliced ¼" thick
5 garlic cloves, minced
~1 lb. small red potatoes, halved or quartered
1 bay leaf
2 pasilla chiles, stemmed & most seeds shaken out
~2 quarts rich chicken stock (+ more as needed)
HUGE bunch of kale, thicker, tougher portion of stem removed
sea salt
freshly cracked black pepper

Heat a large Dutch Oven over medium heat.  Add the olive oil and the chorizo.  Cook until chorizo is cooked through and golden in some spots.  If the bottom of the pot seems dry, add another drizzle of olive oil.  Turn heat to medium-high, add onion, carrot, garlic, and potatoes, bay leaf, and chiles.  Stir around, coating the vegetables with the reddish-orange glisten from the chorizo.  After a few minutes, once the onions and garlic have begun to soften, pour in the chicken stock, scraping along the bottom of the pot to release that flavor-packed fond.  Bring to a boil, partially cover and reduce to a simmer, cooking for ~20 minutes.

Slice the kale into fat ribbons, and then chop a bit.  Add kale to pot, put the lid on all the way, and turn off the heat.  Let it sit until the kale has wilted, about 5 to 10 minutes.  Season and adjust with sea salt and black pepper.  If you'd like, remove the bay leaf and whole chiles (the chiles will be soft and falling apart, so you could just stir to break them up a bit and leave them in).
It's good enough to write home about!

*This post is linked to:
RegionalRecipes SouperSundays