30 December 2011

Caldo Verde (Portuguese Kale Soup)

No food screams more "Portuguese" than caldo verde... This soup is considered by many as the most popular staple in Portuguese cuisine. And it is oh, so simple to make!! When I am homesick, I find comfort in making familiar foods I grew up with... The main ingredients in this soup are potato and Portuguese cabbage (which we will replace with kale), but often smoked Portuguese sausage (chouriço) is added, for extra flavor. The key to this soup is cutting the kale really, really thin... If you visit any market in Portugal, you will find this cabbage already thinly julienned and sold by the kilo. I don't have access to chouriço around here, but I did find some Portuguese linguiça at my local supermarket!

Caldo Verde (Portuguese Kale Soup)

6 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
8 to 10 ounces chouriço or linguiça, sliced or thinly chopped (optional)
2 quarts water
3 to 4 cups of kale, cut into very fine julienne (remove the thicker parts of the stems and roll the leaves together to make it easier to thinly cut)
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Fill a pot with the water, add potatoes, onion and garlic and let it cook for 20 to 25 minutes. When the potatoes are tender, purée everything (I use a hand blender right into the pot, but if you don't have one, you can use a regular blender). You want to make sure that you end up with a fairly light potato broth, so at this point you can add some water if needed. Add the kale and the chouriço, along with the olive oil and let it cook for an extra 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste (sometime I will add a vegetable bouillon) and serve. I hope you will give it a try, I am sure you will enjoy it!

Bom apetite!!

11 December 2011

Inspired by the Comtesse...

There are so many things I love about this french romantic home... The owner, just like me, is a huge fan of the children's novels by the Comtesse de Ségur, and turned this gorgeous old presbytere into a lovely 19th century inspired home, one that the Comtesse's own "Model Little Girls" could have called their own! Shall we travel back in time together...?!!

02 December 2011

Christmas at Monticello

First and foremost, I just want to say that I am so deeply touched and thankful for those of you who so kind-heartedly reached out to me after my last post, I have read every single comment and email (more than once) and my heart is truly lifted... What a wonderful community we are! You have given me the wind I needed to keep on flying, I may not know the end to my Book of Life, but I hope I will tackle page by page, chapter by chapter with anticipation and excitement, and most of all, a grateful heart...!!

I leave you with pictures of the Old Fashioned Christmas Show at Monticello, as always the guest vendors have created a truly magical place and a shopper's paradise! The show starts today and runs through January 1st. Don't miss it!



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