The Slowcook at Spydog Farm The Slowcook at Spydog Farm

Kids Make Potato-Kale Soup

November 13th, 2010 · 3 Comments · Posted in Ethnic, kids

Potatoes and onions in food mill

The simplest soup is also the best.

Our food appreciation classes this week left Africa and landed in Portugal where we set to work making a classic potato and kale soup called caldo verde. Kids love this soup, so add it to your list of recipes that encourage kids to eat vegetables, in this case very healthy and seasonal kale.

In Portugal, market vendors use a machine to chop the kale into a very fine julienne. Otherwise, this soup is incredibly simple with just five ingredients: potatoes, onion, kale, water and salt. A slice of fried linguica sausage is recommended to garnish the soup. We used kielbasa.

To make the soup, peal five medium-sized boiling potatoes such as Yukon Gold and cut into 1-inch pieces. Finely chop 1 onion. Place the potatoes and onion in a heavy pot with six cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook until potatoes are tender.

Making kale julienne

Meanwhile, trim the stems and tough ribs from 8 ounces of fresh kale, then slice the leaves into fine julienne about two inches long.

When the potatoes are done, there are two ways you can proceed. The original recipe we used called for pureeing the contents of the soup pot, then adding it back to the pot along with the julienned kale and cooking about five minutes until the kale is tender. Since we do not use electric gadgets in our classes, we strained the potatoes and onion from the pot and ran them through a food mill. We cooked the kale in the potato cooking water, then stirred the potato mixture back into the pot. Yet another alternative is to use an electric food processor instead of the food mill, which will result in an even creamier soup.

Season the soup with salt to taste and distribute into warm bowls. Add a 1/4-inch slice of fried sausage to each bowl for garnish. Kids will ask for seconds on the sausage, but we only give it to them when they’ve finished the soup–including the kale.

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  • Denise Michaels - Adventurous Foodie

    I’ve seen this soup on Tony Bourdain’s “No Reservations” show as it was cooked by an ol’ Grandma in the Azores. She did it as more of a hearty, chunky stew.

  • Sheila Crye

    Great soup! My after-school cooking club also loves the Italian or Portuguese spicy white beans with kale–a vegetable side dish rather than a soup.

    One suggestion regarding your photo of the youth preparing kale julienne: Tell them to make their non-dominant hand into a bear claw, with the first joint pulled back. That hand grasps the kale, and first knuckle rests right against the chef’s knife to guide the knife where to go next. Proper technique is the best way to avoid injury.

  • Lindy van der Meulen

    I live in the Netherlands. Curley Kale is a very definite winter vegetable inthis country. Possibly folk favourite. You have tobuyit afterfirst night frost. Taste is better then, or put it 1 night in freezer. We boil in a pressure cooker if youhave one about 1 kilo of cut intovery small pieces curley kale, add about 3 kilo ‘floury’ kind of potatoes, about 40/50 ml. Vinegar as pickles in jar come in! And enough water as is usual for you to boil your potatoes in. Also pepper and your preferred spices. I do a tiny pinch of pimento. When tender,about 6-8 minutes in pressure cooker pour through sieve, save water for tasty gravy!, mash potatoes and kale with desertspoon of yoghurt type mayonaise. Take care with this part it must not get too sloppy! You can now stir through this “stamp-pot” which is the Dutch name for this recipe finely sliced pickled onions and gherkins, about 10 of each! My husband doesn’t like pickles so I have to always take his portion out first. I hope someone tries this, I’m curious what you think, Regards, Lindy