The Fashion Magpie Caldo Verde Soup

Caldo Verde.

*Image above via Park and Oak Interiors and has nothing to do with recipe that follows but this kitchen really caught my eye the other day, and, well, it’s green!

Soup is, possibly, the perfect winter lunch? It is both satisfying — even rib-sticking? — but light, as the bulk of it tends to be broth. I mean, I never leave a soup lunch regretting that I overstuffed myself, and yet it has the effect of warming me all the way through. I also find it elegant and evocative as a food class: a bowl of soup transports and remembers in a way that a deli sandwich doesn’t. This may in part stem from the fact that its ingredients are often themselves leftovers from last night’s dinner, and so soup is often, quite literally, composed of the past.

Anyhow, we it a lot of it at home, everything from Vietnamese pho (which we order in — pho and ramen are beyond even Mr. Magpie’s impressively ambitious culinary interests, as they require a lot of specific and difficult-to-come-by ingredients, take a long time to prepare, and the noodles are everything (can easily degrade the dish if not good) but are difficult to make at home and even source in supermarkets) to turkey wild rice (using Thanksgiving leftovers). My absolute favorite, though, is Caldo Verde, a hearty kale and potato dream from Northern Portugal. Every year, I beg Mr. Magpie to make a batch, and then we freeze it in quart-sized baggies to parse out carefully over the winter, if I can exercise the restraint not to thaw a parcel of it every other day.

This soup is outrageously delicious. It registers as a comfort food of the first order. A spoonful of this thick but not overly-rich soup makes me feel as though I’ve been wrapped in a blanket at a fireside and reminded that “Everything is going to be OK.” It is beautifully balanced, with the quiet comfort of the potato and the mild bitterness of stewed kale offset by the garlic-y, chewy coins of chorizo or linguica. Portuguese poet António Correia de Oliveira described Caldo Verde as “a marriage of flavors and livelihood,” and that’s exactly it. It is comforting but exciting, with those little sautes of smokey, garlic-forward pork to look forward to in every other bite. (Plus, you can enjoy the vague smugness that you have eaten your greens for the day.)

I implore you to give this hug of a soup a try. It is phenomenal for lunch but hearty enough for dinner, especially alongside a salad laced with a vinegar-y dressing and a hunk of good bread.

Mr. Magpie uses the recipe from America’s Test Kitchen, which is reprinted below.

Felicidades!

Caldo Verde.

Serves 6 to 8
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
12 ounces Spanish-style chorizo sausage or linguica, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 onion, chopped fine (you can also use leek)
4 garlic cloves, minced
Salt and pepper
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
4 cups chicken broth
4 cups water
1 pound kale or collard greens, stemmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add chorizo and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer chorizo to bowl and set aside. Reduce heat to medium and add onion (or leek), garlic, 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, and pepper flakes and season with pepper to taste. Cook, stirring frequently, until onion is translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Add potatoes, broth, and water; increase heat to high and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, until potatoes are just tender, 8 to 10 minutes.

Transfer 3/4 cup solids and 3/4 cup broth to blender jar. Add greens to pot and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in chorizo and continue to simmer until greens are tender, 8 to 10 minutes longer.

Add remaining 3 tablespoons oil to soup in blender and process until very smooth and homogeneous, about 1 minute. Remove pot from heat and stir pureed soup mixture and vinegar into soup. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.

Post-Scripts.

+My favorite French potato salad. This is more of a summer recipe but I have been craving it the last few weeks. The tang of vinegar! My mouth is watering just thinking of it.

+Kitchen gear to amp up your cooking game.

+In general, I’m a pragmatic cook.

+An indoor shrimp BBQ recipe — I love using this recipe in the winter.

+A fabulous party dish.

+Thoughts on entertaining at home.

Shopping Break.

+I have a chunky knit with bow-shaped crystal buttons down the front that I bought from Zara last year and every time I snap of photo of myself in it, I get loads of questions about it! I found one with IDENTICAL buttons in a chic brown color here. Also love this one (upgrade pick: Ganni).

+Have had a few questions about Easter dresses from my fellow anticipators! I feel as though we should start seeing a lot of gorgeous spring options coming out soon, but for now, the only option I have seen and fallen in love with is this Self-Portrait! Wow! The details are spectacular!

+I own this Rhode dress in another pattern and it is SO fun but also sophisticated because of the neckline and material. Love it in this fun print!

+Inexpensive, easy way to “dress” for Valentine’s Day: add fun statement earrings like these or these!

+Love the longer/wider sleeves on this sweater.

+These cups are fun for a Galentine’s Day — or even a socially-distanced wine sip on the back patio around space heaters!

+OMG! These mini-monogrammed jewelry boxes are beyond sweet and so well-priced! Contemplating buying a bunch with my girlfriends’ initials and parsing out over the year…Discovered via Megan Stokes.

+That brand also has some fabulous finds for self, including these gorgeous earrings and this pearl-studded knit.

+Loving this silhouette (and wash) in denim at the moment.

+Just ordered mini this book for Valentine’s Day.

+I’m so into Beyond Yoga for fitness wear at the moment. I’ve loved their longline tanks for the last year in particular — the material is so, so soft and stretchy, sort of like Lululemon’s Align material and I love the neckline and thin straps, which feel feminine and flattering. I just noticed their leggings in a great basic navy were marked down and am going to give them a try next.

+This mini crossbody would go with everything and feels so fresh for spring.

+I am going to invest in a Thierry Coulson dress this spring/summer. I’ve been eyeing them for two seasons now and know how often/frequently I wear dresses like this. I’m debating between this sashed style and this stand collar variation. LOVE both in the Liberty prints, and the green is kind of fun? I own so little green! Was also thinking either would be a gorgeous coming home outfit for a new mom given the nursing friendliness and loose fit. I also noticed that Matches has marked down a couple of their pieces and am heavily tempted by this under-$200 caftan! I would roll up the sleeves to the elbow and throw on with Hermes sandals!

+Clever magnetic alphabet set for budding readers.

+These waffle joggers in neon pink are just fun (and inexpensive!).

+Fleece-lined stirrup leggings — highly functional in snow/cold weather when tucked into heavy duty snow boots.

+This $60 rain jacket reminds me of the much more expensive style from Sutterheim! Love it in the pastel blue!

+Speaking of style-conscious rain gear on a budget: Target and Old Navy have great pairs of chelsea style rain boots at wonderful prices.

+Love this stack of gold bangles.

+Brent Neale vibes for less!

10 Comments

  1. I too have the COH Charlotte jeans. Couldn’t recommend them more! My son’s girlfriend, who is in college, wanted to know what brand I was wearing! Quite the compliment for a woman in her late 50’s!

  2. So many things today!

    First, I immediately copied & pasted the caldo verde recipe & sent in an email to my husband. All of our favorite things in one soup! Definitely going to be on deck this week (…hopefully by the time I get my tastebuds back post-Covid. This is the worst, most disorienting feeling!).

    Second, I received a similar ivory, jeweled button, v-neck mohair cardigan from my mother for Christmas and LOVE it. Challenged on how to wear/layer it though, since it’s a bit revealing sans under-layer. Do you layer a tee underneath? Turtleneck? Same color or contrast?

    Third, hiiighly encourage the purchase of a Thierry Colson piece! My husband surprised me with one of the oversize blouses in the blue liberty floral pattern for our anniversary back in September (four years = flowers was his rationale; I melt) and I wore it all over Spain – with those ruffled Sea shorts we all loved + espadrilles, with white jeans + loafers, etc. The silhouettes (both dresses and shirts) and material is SO fun. A close friend has a few of her housedress style pieces and loves them too. The brand definitely runs oversize, just a tip!

    1. Yay! You will love the soup! I’m so sorry about the loss of taste/smell — Landon and I both had that symptom and it was so cruel. It made an unpleasant situation even worse not to be able to enjoy meals/drinks! Hang in there. I know most people recover their senses within a few weeks.

      For the cardigan — chic chic! Your mom nailed it! I usually wear over an ivory/white turtleneck, tucked into high-waisted denim, or layer over a dress!

      Thanks for the upvote on Colson! Definitely at the top of my spring shopping list. What a great gift from your husband!

      xx

  3. The COH Charlotte are the absolute best jeans I have ever owned. Plus, I was recently standing outside a shop in Frederick and a group of Gen-Z gals stopped to ask me what jeans they were, so they’ve got the multi-generational seal of approval!

    We love sausage, potato, and kale soups as well. And sausage and lentil soups (check out Joy the Baker’s), and chilis, and curried soups… in total agreement about the appeal of a warm bowl of soup!

    1. !! Wow, that’s quite the denim endorsement! I bet that made you feel pret-ty chic!!

      xx

  4. This sounds delicious! Adding to my meal plan soon. We have a similar recipe that uses Italian sausage instead of chorizo and sweet potatoes instead of Yukon gold, and it’s in the rotation about once a month. Actually, we probably have some kind of soup weekly now that I think about it!

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