Thursday, February 19, 2009

Cajun Style Potato and Kale Soup

Caldo Verde or Green Soup is an authentic Porutuguese soup made of Potatoes and Kale or anyother greens.The basic ingredients are mashed potatoes,mashed onions and minced/chiffonaded greens mostly kale or cabbage/collard greens and the seasonings is basically garlic and salt.It is a simple soup which also contains the chorizo or the Portuguese pork.For a vegan/vegetarian version you can avoid the meat or substute it with soy chunks/tofu/tempeh as per choice.

I tried to make a vegetarian version avoiding meat as well as substitutes based on Emerils Lagasses version of this soup,but slightly added a twist to it by using Cajun/Creole/New Orleans Seasoning which I made based on Emerils Essence recipe.On the whole it was filling and comforting.

Potato: 1 very big
Onion: 1 small
Kale: 1 small bunch
Garlic: 1-2 cloves
Olive Oil

Cajun/Creole/New Orleans Seasoning
(yields 2/3 cups reduce if needed.)
Paprika: 2.5 tbsp
Salt: 2 tbsp
Garlic Powder: 2
Pepper: 1 tbsp
Cayenne Pepper/Chilli powder: 1 tbsp
Oregano: 1 tbsp
Thyme: 1 tbsp

Chop onions finely and crush/mince the garlic.Dice the potatoes into bite sized cubes.Chop the kale leaves finely(chifffonade).Chiffonading is the process of cutting the greens into thin strips/ribbons and is accomplished by stacking the leaves one over the other,rolling them tightly and then cutting across the roll to produce strips of greens.Prepare the seasoning by combining all the ingredients thoroughly.The seasoning recipe yields around 2/3 cup,so I made only 1/4th of this,but still little amount may remain.Store this in an airtight container and add it to your vegetables or rice.

Heat olive oil in a thick bottomed pan.Add onions and garlic and saute till transparent.Add cubed potatoes,veg broth,seasoning,little salt and pepper.Bring to boil and then let it simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked.Then using a potato masher/blender coarsely puree the mix,till your choice of gravy consistency is obtained.I used a potato masher and allowed chunks of potatoes in my soup.You can completely puree it if you like.Return the pureed soup to the heat.Add the minced /chiffonaded kale to this and let it simmer 10-15 minutes until the kale is cooked yet crunchy and the flavours are well blended.Adjust the salt and pepper and serve with crusty bread.

I love potatoes in any form and this version in soup with the healthy nutritious addition of greens is definitely hearty.If you do not like Cajun seasoning then fell free to add red chilli flakes as in the referenced recipe or any other spice of choice or simply salt and pepper.Each version is definitely hearty and rich.This lovely potato soup is going to No Croutons Required hosted this time by Holler of Tinned Tomatoes and the theme is Potatoes.

UPDATE on 25,Feb 2009: THANKS to LUBNA ,This soup is also travelling to SWC:Soups hosted by Neha of EasyNTastyRecipes,an event started by LG of Taste of Mysore.



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