Kale Caldo Verde
1 TB olive or canola oil
1 lb onions, diced (I use Spanish, but leeks, white onions, or sweet onions are great too)
1 1/2 lbs potatoes, diced
1 lb kale with their stems (please refer to instructions for specifics)
1 cup coconut milk
12 cups water, boiling
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper (or to taste)
2 cloves garlic, minced
In a pot, boil 12 cups of water.
In a separate deep pot, add the oil and the onions. Do not add the oil first then the onions, because this is a fairly small amount of oil, and you want the onions to give some juice to augment the oil. Cook over high heat, until the onions are softened (not browned; you may brown them if you like, but I prefer the taste of cooked through, juicy onions). Add the potatoes, salt, black pepper, and garlic. Stir through to combine with the oil and onions. When you hear the potatoes really sizzle, 6 cups of water, and bring to the boil. Turn the pot of water to low, and cover it with a lid.
When the potato pot comes to a good strong boil, drop down the heat to medium low, and let the potatoes cook for anywhere between 10 and 20 minutes, depending on how small you chopped the potatoes. You want the potatoes to be tender, and not falling apart, so keep an eye on them. While the potatoes cook, chop the kale with the stems. When you get to the part where there is no kale leaf left, chop the stems especially small. This will allow the entire thing to cook at the same time.
Once the potatoes are tender, turn off the heat. Remove the soup pot from the heat. Add the kale and garlic to the soup pot, and stir. If there isn't enough water, pull some out from your pot of boiling water, and augment the soup pot with it. Taste for seasoning. Once there's enough salt to your liking, add the coconut milk. You can serve this immediately, or let it sit for about five minutes to let the flavours steep together.
There are hundreds of versions out there. This is my adaptation of one that I had at a Brazilian friend's house. Some versions call for you to take some of the cooked soup, blend it, and stir it through again. Others are more brothy, and call for no creamy component. Still others use chickpeas instead of potatoes. If you want to make this even faster, omit the potatoes, and substitute a can of chickpeas instead, and the soup will be made in about 10 minutes flat.
In my own favourite version, I like to add carrots along with the potaotes, because I find the colour to be lovely.