Caldo Verde

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Caldo Verde

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy
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Was in a doctor’s office yesterday and, with time to kill, I started flipping through a magazine when I came across a recipe for Caldo Verde or “Portuguese Green Soup”. What immediately caught my eye with this one is two of my favourite ingredients….. Chorizo sausage and Navy beans and so I knew I just had to make it.

Traditional Caldo Verde, from what I have managed to find out, contains ( amongst other things) Kale and Potatoes but seeing how I didn’t have Kale and didn’t really feel like peeling potatoes I left them out and substituted Savoy cabbage for the Kale. In addition I strayed a little bit more from the recipe I found by adding a bit of spice in the form of a Poblano pepper and some Cajun seasoning. The addition of the Cajun seasoning and the Poblano pepper makes this a perfect “I feel awful from a cold” type of soup since it provides a warm and comfy feeling and the spices help clear your sinuses.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 5 Chorizo sausages cut into bite sized pieces
  • 2 cups Navy beans – washed and rinsed
  • 1 medium Poblano pepper – seeded and diced
  • 1 medium yellow Onion – diced
  • 1/2 head of a small Savoy cabbage – thinly sliced
  • 4 Garlic cloves – finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 8 cups low sodium Chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning
  • Sea salt and fresh ground Pepper to taste
  • Olive baguette (optional)

Putting it all together:

  1. Place the Navy beans in a large non reactive bowl, cover with water and set aside for about 2 hours
  2. When the beans have softened place the Olive oil and Chorizo in a large pot or Dutch oven and brown on medium high heat – about 5 to 8 minutes
  3. Remove the sausage and set aside.
  4. Add the onion, Poblano pepper and garlic to the pot and sauté for about 3 minutes
  5. Add in the chicken stock, Navy beans and the remainder of the seasonings and simmer for about 15 minutes
  6. Add back the Chorizo and mix well
  7. Mix in the cabbage and continue simmering for about 10 minutes or until the cabbage has softened
  8. Adjust the seasonings and enjoy

There you have it another “simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time……

                            Bon Appetit

Navy bean soup

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Navy bean soup

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
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The first time I heard about this soup was back in 1974 when I was watching the iconic Mel Brooks movie “Blazing Saddles”. In the end there is a massive fight in the commissary of the studio the movie was being filmed in (you have to see the movie to understand) and at some point someone gets pushed through the checkout line covered in Navy Bean soup. So when Mother Nature decided to throw us a curve ball the other day and go from spring like weather to freeze your butt off it became clear that soup was in order and that scene from the movie jumped into my head and a little voice said……….. “Navy Bean” (the voice sounded surprisingly like Cleavon Little lol).

One additional point—- I used a Smoked Ham/Pork Hock because I like the smokiness and flavour it adds. If you don’t want to use one then simply substitute some diced ham.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 1 pound Navy beans, picked over, rinsed and drained
  • 1 large smoked Ham hock, about 1 1/2 pounds
  • 1 medium Onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cloves Garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 8 cups of Cold water
  • 8-10 black Peppercorns
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • 2 – 3 sprigs Thyme
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • Cheesecloth and butchers string

Putting it all together:

  1. Put the beans in a large soup pot or Dutch oven, cover with water and soak for about 20 minutes
  2. Drain the beans and set aside
  3. Make a Bouquet Garni by putting the peppercorns, thyme and bay leaf in the cheesecloth and tying together with the butchers twine.
  4. Place all the other ingredients in the pot or dutch oven and cover with the water.
  5. Tie one end of the butchers twine to the handle of the pot and put the other into the pot
  6. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer
  7. Cook until the hock and beans are completely tender, about 1 1/2 hours
  8. Turn off the heat and remove the hock.
  9. When cool enough to handle strip the meat off the hock discarding the fat, bone and skin
  10. Chop the meat into small pieces and add back to the pot
  11. Remove and discard the Bouquet Garni
  12. Blend about two cups of the beans with some liquid and add back to the pot
  13. Mix well and adjust seasoning
  14. Enjoy

There you have it another “simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time………..

                          Bon Appetit