Earlier in the season we took a short backpacking trip down the West Fork of the San Gabriel River, along the Gabrielino Trail to Valley Forge Trail Camp. It was a beautiful night, just beginning to warm up for the summer but still cool enough to gather around a campfire, and a perfect opportunity to test out some new pieces from our Outdoor Collection. As we chilled our beers in the river, we threw together a simple Caldo Verde (recipe below) and enjoyed it as the sun set in our little canyon.
3 tbsp olive oil*
1 medium onion, diced
2 ribs celery, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
large pinch chili flakes (optional)
2 spicy sausages (optional)*
about 4 cups of water
2-3 medium potatoes, diced
1/2 bunch kale, destemmed and chopped
Sea salt, to taste
Notes : We bring a few tablespoons of olive oil in an airplane-sized liquor bottle. For the sausage, we used 2 uncooked hot Italian sausages that were fine in a pack for a few hours and made a nice first-night-out treat. If you're going to be hiking for longer before cooking, or want to make this after the first night, you could substitute a dried sausage or just leave it out all together.
Warm the olive oil in your cooking pot over medium heat. Add the onion and celery and cook until translucent. Add the garlic and chili flakes, if using, and cook only until fragrant. Prick the sausages with a fork and add them to the pot, browning them a bit if you can. Then add the water, potatoes, and kale, cover, and simmer until the potatoes are soft and the sausages are cooked through. That will take about 15-20 minutes, depending on your elevation (high elevations take longer). Salt to taste and enjoy.