So about a week ago we returned from our trip to Portugal. Why Portugal you ask? I mean it’s a legit question I guess.
The story goes something like this. A few months ago, I was in the middle of a storm. Let’s call it that. A storm of everything. I was trying to figure out how to get books to CA for a book signing event. I was shelving what I thought was going to be my second book to start working on what I hope will be my second book. I was being hit with a crisis of confidence over my photos and just the basic insecurities that go with throwing something you care about into the world to be kicked around a little. But really it didn’t get too bad until I sat down with my calendar and started to map out what the next few years were going to look like. No joke. This is how grown up things are getting. Did I mention I turn 38 tomorrow?
We had to pass on the house I fell in love with because we were going to need to stay closer to the city for doctor appointments. I was blocking off the end of May and beginning of June for more appointments. I was getting tips from friends on revisiting adoption since Dan has this new job* and all. To put it bluntly… there was a lot of adult shit going down and so we booked a trip to Portugal. Because that’s what people do right**? They go to Portugal to regroup. To collect themselves. To step away and breathe and try port wine and walk around castles. That’s a thing right? We’re not the only ones who do that are we?
Plus it worked last time. Last year we ran away to Belgium and lightening struck. Why not try to be superstitious? Seriously would that hurt? So off we went to Portugal.
I have photos to post and a new cookbook to veganize**. We visited some pretty amazing vegan restaurants in Portugal too. But today we’re starting with what some consider the soup of Portugal – Caldo Verde.
This potato based soup usually has shredded greens and chorizo sausage. We actually had some vegan Caldo Verde at a pretty masterful vegan restaurant called Casa da Horta in Porto. Yes in Portugal even the sleepy little pretty towns like Porto have kick-ass vegan restaurants. But more about that place later.
Today we’re talking soup. Easy, delicious, lovely soup. The kind of soup you can make a big vat of and then bring to work for lunch all week. A added bonus is that this soup gave me an excuse to play around with the Upton’s Natural’s Soyrizo. I originally made some tamales with it but then much to my chagrin I discovered they actually have soyrizo tamales on their website. So when I got home from Portugal, one of the first things I did was locate some more Upton’s to use in this recipe. I think it worked perfectly in this recipe but if you can’t find Upton’s I recommend still giving this a shot with Tofurky or Trader Joe’s soyrizo.
Just promise you’ll give the most famous soup from Portugal a try and when you do – you take a minute to pretend you’re not an adult. Just enjoy the soup and maybe a video of puppy playing with a deer in what I am thinking must be Long Island based on the accent.
More photos and details on being vegan in Portugal to come.
Vegan Caldo Verde
1 cup Soyrizo
3/4 lb Greens (we used Swiss chard because it’s my favorite but you can use kale or collard greens)
2 Red Onions, diced
4 Yukon Gold Potatoes, diced
1 large Carrot, diced
2 stalks Celery, diced
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil (you’ll need more to drizzle over the top)
3 cloves Garlic, minced
Pinch of Celery Seed
1 teaspoon Nutritional Yeast
5 1/2 cups Better Than Bouillon Vegan Chicken Broth or Vegetable Broth, made per directions
1/2 cup White Wine
Crushed Black Peppercorns and Red Pepper Flakes to sprinkle over the top
Olive Oil Cooking Spray
Toss all your ingredients except your Soyrizo and Greens in a Dutch oven and heat over a medium heat until it begins to bubble then reduce to a simmer.
While your soup is heating up, take your greens one leaf at a time and roll them into a cigar like shape. Then slice them into thin strips. I hope this photo hopes.
Then coat your favorite cast iron skillet with cooking spray and heat over a medium heat. Once your oil is hot, toss your soyrizo in and brown.
Once your potatoes are tender, use an immersion blender or food processor to blend your soup until creamy. Then toss your greens into your soup and cover. Let cook for about 2-3 minutes and then you’re ready to serve.
Serve your soup with a drizzle of olive oil and some soyrizo and black peppercorns over the top.
*I get asked all the time.
**It was also on a ridiculous sale. Like crazy cheap.
***Yes my new Portugese cookbook is in French. I can read French. I can’t read Portugese.