I don't know what it is about this simple soup, but there's something magical in it. Something about the combination of kale, potatoes, and linguica (what I grew up calling Portuguese sausage in Hawaii) work together to create an addictively light soup that is perfect for a fall weekend lunch or simple mid-week dinner.
I gather my caldo verde ingredients at my local farmer's market where we are lucky enough to have a sausage vendor who makes sausages that are out of this world. If you can't find linguica near you, you can order it online. Just Google it. (Linguisa is also great fried and served with eggs so get two packages!)
There are a million variations of how to make this soup. My sister does it one way, I do it another, but in the end, the kale, potatoes, and linguica remain constants. If you like potatoes, add more. If you like a meatier soup, add more linguica. Portions of the three main ingredients are flexible, but simplicity is the key. Here's one delicious way to do it.
Caldo Verde ingredients waiting to go into the pot.
In a soup pot, saute:
3 cloves of minced garlic
1 large yellow onion, diced
in a little olive oil (maybe 3-4 tbsps) over medium heat until the onions are translucent.
2-3 russet potatoes, peeled and diced into 1-inch cubes (or 6-8 smallish Yukon Golds, peeled and diced into 1-inch cubes).
1 package of linguica, sliced (the kind with 2-3 sticks to a package, about 10-12 ounces)
1 bunch of lacinato kale, sliced into thin, noodle-like threads
1.5 quarts of water
Bring to a boil. Simmer until potatoes are very tender. Season with sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste. Serve.
Note: Some people like to take a potato masher to the soup when it's finished cooking to smash up some of the potatoes. That's yummy, too.