The title of this post ain’t going to grab much attention. Seriously? A cabbage and potato soup? Oh yes, this is what I couldn’t quite get enough of any time I’ve travelled to Lisbon…Caldo Verde. Last year I tried researching for an authentic recipe online and gave up purely as there was no consistency with the recipes (partly as there are so many regional variations) and no spices used. Well, the Caldo verde I’ve had was always nicely spicy. Now that I’m positively in love with the green finger chillies with a Scoville heat rating of 50,000 I can now buy I’m really enjoying using them, and looking forward to updating certain spicier recipes within my blog. No, I won’t be going with new posts about them. Coming back to this soup, the heat was just right! At last. Something so basic as a decent chilli can make such a difference.
I’m going to include having this with those thin and spicy Polish kabano sausages I’ve posted about before as I’d thought of using them. As I was supposed to be cooking my chicken roulade wrapped in streaky bacon this weekend as it’s so cold again I didn’t buy the sausages. If anything this doesn’t really need them. Still, when I make this again I will be using them. Especially as I’m having this as a main course. Which is why I’ve gone with so many potatoes. These soups were never served with masses of either potato nor cabbage within the thin soup itself. So, my ratios for both are a little exaggerated. Go for how much you have to hand. As for my lunch I just went for a sliced hard-boiled egg on Oktoberfest bread toasted and lightly buttered. With two bowls of soup this really hit the spot!
Savoy Cabbage and Potato Soup, with beefed-up vegetable stock and chilli
FOR THE STOCK:
- 200g (7.05 oz) x onions, halved, peeled, trimmed and cut into halves again
- up to 200g (7.05 oz) x carrots, peeled, trimmed and cut into large chunks
- 80g (2.82 oz) x outer leaves of a Savoy cabbage, only non damaged used and any blemishes removed, soaked in salted cold water for about 30 minutes and well rinsed, roughly shredded
- 3 x celery stalks/ribs, washed trimmed and roughly chopped
- 6 x garlic cloves, root end cut off, peeled and kept whole
- 2 x dried bay leaves, split
- 10 x juniper berries
- 1 x pinch cayenne pepper OR 1/4 x teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 x organic vegetable stock cube
- 500ml (1.05 US pt lqd) x water
FOR THE SOUP:
- up to 400g (14.10 oz) x organic salad potatoes (I’ve used Nicola), scrubbed, with blemishes removed and either cut into discs or chunks
- about 260g (9.17 oz) x Savoy cabbage, heart only, shredded and rinsed if necessary
- 1 x green finger chilli (Scoville heat rating 50,000), washed and cut in half
- seasoning, both freshly ground sea salt and black pepper
- thin and spicy Polish kabano sausages – optional
Measurements within brackets above are approximate only.
- Add all of the stock ingredients to a large heavy-based saucepan and put on electric heat No 4 (out of 6) with a lid. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to No 2 and simmer for at least 30 minutes. I generally prepare this the night before and simmer for up to an hour, then turn off heat. The following day I put it back on heat almost to a mild simmer before straining. When poached strain through a metal colander into a suitable bowl, remove the garlic and bay leaf pieces and set those aside. With the back of a large metal serving spoon press the vegetables to extract as much liquid and nutrients as possible. I started off with the cabbage leaves, then the remaining vegetables. Then pour the stock through a fine wire metal sieve into a measuring jug and if there’s less than 500ml (1.05 US pt lqd) just add enough water to gain that amount. Return the stock to the saucepan with the garlic and bay leaf pieces.
- After preparing the potatoes add those to the stock along with the chilli and put back on heat No 4 with a lid. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to N 2 and simmer. In the meantime prepare the cabbage and add those after the heat has been turned down as they cook considerably quicker. Continue to simmer until the potatoes are cooked through. Remove the bay leaf pieces and chilli before serving. And do taste for any needed freshly ground sea salt and black pepper.
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