Don’t rush through the process but enjoy the mindfulness, or the Zen, of cooking. Isn’t the fragrance of homemade soup wonderful? It makes you glad to be alive or at least at your own house for dinner. ~ Sarah Ban Breathnach
Remember I once told you I had a private ‘practice’ blog a year before I launched Sharing the Journey? Well here’s a wee post I did back in the autumn of 2008. I’ve guessed from the response to my last post that I’m not the only one who has an almost spiritual reverence for making a pot of stew or soup.
Vegetarian caldo verde
It’s very cold today. Passers-by look drawn, pinched and tight faced, huddling into the winter clothes they’ve been avoiding for as long as possible. Although it’s a bright blue day, people don’t seem to be sharing my delight at the autumn colours or the drifts of leaves. The cold is all pervasive, slicing its way through clothes and into the conversations I’ve overheard.
Here’s one of the soups I serve my family on days like this. It’s very loosely based on a soup I loved when I lived in Portugal, caldo verde (green soup.) We’re not vegetarian, and the original soup has slices of spicy sausage, pepperoni or chorizo in it, but the kids don’t notice if I don’t add meat because I substitute the spices and flavours used to give European sausage its distinctive smoky tang.
To a large soup pan I add water, some sea salt, 200g of shredded curly kale, 1kg of small, scrubbed but unpeeled new potatoes chopped into chunks, a glug or two of extra virgin olive oil, two cloves of garlic and two or three teaspoonfuls of smoked paprika. I boil it all until the potatoes are cooked, whazz everything together with a hand blender and serve in earthenware handpainted bowls with homebaked seeded bread.
Smoky, heavenly soup with a high smugness quotient! Mmmm…
(If you’re not vegetarian, you can throw in 100g of thinly sliced chorizo before you boil everything, saving a few slices as a garnish.)
I have lots of favourite recipes from my years abroad; please let me know if you’d like me to share some more of them here.