Caldo Verde with Chorizo and Apple

Irresistible aromas. Layers of flavor. An array of textures. American Spoon’s chef Chris Dettmer reveals secrets of soups that will make any winter’s meal warm, soulful and deliciously unforgettable. (Click for cooking tips and techniques.)

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For the Soup
  • 3 bunches kale, rib removed and chopped
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1 cup leek greens, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons oregano leaves
  • 1/4 cup Mexican-style chorizo, removed from casing and crumbled
  • 1/2 cup leek bottom, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup white onion, thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup potato, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 1/2 quarts chicken stock
To Finish
  • 1 cup honeycrisp apple cut in a large dice
  • 1 cup red pearl onions, papery husk removed and cut in half
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/2 pound Mexican-style chorizo, removed from casing and crumbled
  • Vegetable oil
  • 1/2 pound fingerling potatoes cut in half
  • 1 cup butternut squash cut in a large dice
  • Fresh oregano


For the Soup Add enough oil to coat the bottom of a sauce pot and heat over a medium flame. Add the chorizo, leek bottom, onion, and potato. Season the vegetables with a pinch of salt and cook, covered, for about 15 minutes. Add the wine and reduce by half, and then add the chicken stock. Bring it to a boil then simmer, uncovered, for about 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and chill thoroughly. While the base is cooling, bring a large stock pot of salted water to a boil. Once it is rolling, add the kale and leek greens and cook for one minute. Add the spinach and oregano and cook for 30 seconds more. Strain out the greens and chill them in ice water. Squeeze out the greens until they are dry and refrigerate. Place the onion and potato base in the blender and process until smooth. Add the greens to the base and continue processing. Add a little water as needed to adjust the consistency. Pass through a fine mesh strainer. Chill. To Finish Place the squash and pearl onions in a small sauté pan. Cover the vegetables with water and season with a pinch of salt and simmer until tender. Remove from the water and reserve. Place the potatoes in a pot with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil and cook until very tender. Remove from the water and let cool. Place a large sauté pan over a medium-high heat. Add enough vegetable oil to cover the bottom of the pan by K inch. Once the oil begins to shimmer, add the crumbled chorizo and the boiled potatoes. Fry until both items are crisp and golden, about 2 minutes. Remove from the pan and drain on paper towels. Divide the garnish into bowls. Heat the soup and serve.