Hey Girl.

Dear readers, let me tell you a story. During my early childhood I never knew what the typical parent was. In fact I’m pretty sure I had no idea of the concept, because you see when I was only a few months old, my parents who’d only recently moved to this country were struggling to keep afloat. It’s a story that many of you with ethnic upbringings or those surrounded by people of ethnic backgrounds may be familiar with, and in the 80’s it was especially tough for a young migrant couple with a newborn child. Because of this my parents made the decision to send me back to Indonesia where I would live with my aunty and cousins for the next few years while my parents tried to build a life here.

My memories of growing up in Indonesia are quite sketchy these days, in fact the only vivid ones I have include that time I went into an open sewer to rescue the family cat (see, I don’t hate cats…), and also the time I saw my first ever sex scene on TV only to have the maid cover my eyes. What I do remember however, is that I was quite close with my cousins, and seeing how there was a 10 year gap to the next youngest one I was always quite in awe of them. I still remember seeing one of my cousins lighting a cigarette and thinking it was the coolest thing ever.

I came back to Sydney when I was 5 and it was strange. Strange to meet these people calling themselves Mum and Dad. Strange to be sleeping in my own bedroom. Strange that I had to say goodbye to my aunty who was the closest person in my life for what I thought was only going to be a week but indeed turned out to be indefinite.

Fast forward a few years to a only a couple of months ago and that same cousin who’d I thought was so cool for lighting up that cigarette in a South-East Asian James Dean kind of way came to visit, and to celebrate we had a gathering where I was of course in charge of the food. Not realising that in the 25 years since I had last seen him that he’d converted to Islam I, feeling in a very porky mood went on a spree of ordering anything with bacon, ham and chorizo. Of course when I did find out, I told him he was simply eating baby cow. Or was it lamb? Smoking, pork… makes us even right?

A few nights ago I was feeling a porky mood again and knowing that my Portuguese mate who you may remember from this post, had just received his permanent rodency, I decided to make some Portuguese Caldo Verde soup, as an ode to him, my cousin and my parents.

Ingredients (Serves 4, or a very hungry 1)

caldo verde-ingredientsThis picture is kind of disturbing. Hehehe.

  • 2-3 potatoes
  • 1 bunch kale (or if you can’t find any, Chinese broccoli)
  • 1 chourico (or if you can’t find any, chorizo – notice a theme here?)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 3-4 cups of water or stock

Method

caldo verde-method

    • Peel your potatoes and roughly chop them up into cubes, or whatever shape you’re feeling for. While you’re at the chopping board get your kale/ Chinese broccoli and roll the leaves up like a cigar then finely slice them. Seeing as you’re still at the chopping board, get your garlic and again, finely slice.
    • Now, chourico is pretty hard to find and unless you know a good Portuguese butcher then you can just substitute it with chorizo. It’s a fine substitute. Get your sausage and slice it.
    • Now you’ve done all your prep get a medium sized saucepan and heat up with a little oil. Drop your chorizo in and fry it off to your liking. I like mine with charred edges. Once that’s done take the chorizo out and set it aside on some paper towels. You’ll notice that you have a nice amount of chorizo fat at the bottom of the pan. If you’re a little conscious about your weight then remove some of it, as you know what they say, ‘a moment on your lips, forever on your hips’. I on the other hand have big hips so I choose to leave the oil in.
    • With your reserved pork fat, lightly fry the garlic and once you have some nice colour add in the potatoes. I toss everything around so it’s all nicely coated. By now your kitchen should smell of garlic and pork. Awesome.
    • Now fill your pan with the water/ stock and bring to the boil. Once there, keep on simmering until the potatoes are soft and creamy. You could leave your soup as is from here, but I like to get my stick mixer out and blitz away until left with a nice thin and creamy consistency.

caldo verde-soupmix

  • Once you’ve done that bring it back to the boil and throw the chourico/ chorizo back in then throw in the kale/ Chinese broccoli, letting it simmer away for a further 5 minutes.
  •  From here Ladle a few spoonfuls into a bowl, crack open a bottle of red, pour yourself a glass or 3, put on the latest episode of How I Met Your Mother you’ve just finished downloading, take a photo for Instagram and wait for the comments and likes to come in.

caldo verde-finishedBin Ends – Because ‘all ends, start with a beginning’

5 Comments

Filed under Cooking, Portuguese

5 responses to “Hey Girl.

  1. Wow! That is a very different childhood to mine. I imagine it must have been really difficult for them to send you back to Indonesia. Great looking soup recipe and of course, everything tastes better when it’s supported by a glass of red – I guess your cousin wouldn’t know about that either! xx

  2. Did you really feed your Muslim cousin pork and tell him it was beef?!?! LOL!

  3. ainslie

    that meat and two veg pic u have going on is makn me want sausage……..what?

  4. Tammy

    You will be the death of me. Seriously. You fed your cousin pork? Should I defriend you while I’m still alive?

    Also, regarding your “forever on the hips” comment, I don’t think I’ve laughed so hard at work in a while. Thank you. I retract that statement about our friendship.

  5. Oh God, I can’t believe you did that to your cousin! :O
    The soup looks excellent though.

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