A retired Vegas Showgirl walks into a bar…….

Caldo Verde

I have watched the movie “Mystic Pizza” about once a year since 1994.  I still have the VHS tape and, sadly the technology to view it.  That is the main reason this movie is considered a cult classic, you know.  Movies receive extra viewing points if nerds like myself enjoy the movie the way it was originally released.  anyhow.
 
The film’s storyline revolves around the lives of three Portuguese-American female friends reaching turning points in their humble yet beautiful coastal Connecticut upbringing.  Directed by Donald Petrie, there are many picturesque scenes of the gorgeous Massachusetts/Connecticut shoreline and architecture; translation, it’s a total chick flick albeit a good one.
 
I watch the tape and romanticize about the population that pulled fish from the sea and fell in love and attended noted colleges and lived satisfying east coast lives.  Until I can return back east myself, I can enjoy this soup.  The recipe has no personal connection with me or my culture or upbringing or any of that; I made this soup for the first time well after I was considered a Vegas local.  However, when I saute chorizo and toss in the potatoes, I am reminded of the lead character, Daisy played by an unknown actress at the time named Julia Roberts.  After a hard night of “slinging pizza” at the Mystic Pizza-ria, the fishmonger’s daughter stared into her lobster saturated fridge wishing for something else to eat besides crustaceans.  
 
Susan Simon’s dish might have been the perfect offering for Daisy and her Mystic friends.
 
Caldo Verde
 
1/4 cup pure olive oil
1/2 cup coarsely chopped onions
1cup thinly sliced peeled carrots
1/2 lb chopped chorizo or other spicy smoked sausage
6 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced peeled potatoes
1 lb kale, tough stems discarded, leaves rinsed and coarsely chopped
1 cup cooked chickpeas
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Salt to taste
 
In a large saucepan or stockpot over medium heat, heat the olive oil and saute the onions, carrots, and sausage until the onions are soft.
 
Add the chicken broth and simmer for 15 minutes.  Add the potatoes, kale, and chickpeas.  Cook for 30 minutes more.  Add the vinegar and taste for salt.  Eat now, or refrigerate for up to 1 week.  The longer it sits, the better it gets.
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