Cachupa Rica of Cape Verde

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Off the coast of Africa lies Cape Verde. When the Portuguese landed on these volcanic islands in the fifteenth century, they were uninhabited. As Cape Verde became colonized, so it also became a center for trade, primarily for slaves. Today, the islands continue to be a stopping point along shipping routes, and has established itself as one of the most developed countries of Africa.

When I was researching this dish, I found a wonderful post with not just a recipe, but insight into the dish itself. Recipes unique to a specific culture usually have a wide variety of interpretations, and cachupa is no different. This specific recipe is the “rica” or “rich” version, and overflows with ingredients and extravagance. On other side of the cachupa spectrum is broth with chicken, beans, and a few other veggies. Simple, but surely delicious.

Inspired by the variety, I decided to do my own take on the prized stew. First, I had to make several necessary adjustments. Let it be known, I have never had one dish that requested four kinds of beans and four kinds of meats. That’s not even including the vegetables. The recipe also creates a large quantity, so I cut everything by half.

Some ingredients weren’t purchased altogether (i.e. blood sausage, my nemesis). My golden acorn squash became quaint pumpkin cauldrons instead of being used in the stew, making the meal fun and festive. Along with the blood sausage, I also skipped the chicken, hominy,  yams, and kidney beans. The remaining meat (seared beef, spicy sausage) was served on the side (more often it is served in the stew). Bacon bits and cilantro were sprinkled on the top.

This recipe was crafted with love and care from the people of Cape Verde – if your craving for soup or stew still hasn’t been satisfied by the last half a dozen posts, then surely this must be the answer.

Ingredient List

  • Olive oil, as needed
  • onion, chopped
  • garlic cloves, peeled
  • bay leaves
  • dried hominy
  • dried kidney beans
  • dried large lima beans
  • beef or pork spareribs
  • chouriço or linguiça sausage
  • blood sausage
  • lean bacon
  • fresh green beans
  • cabbage
  • plantains
  • yams, peeled
  • sweet potatoes
  • winter squash
  • chicken
  •  Salt and pepper, to taste
  • tomatoes
  •  Sofrito (a seasoning paste of sauteed garlic, onion, and tomato paste)
  •  Cilantro, chopped

Quick Quotes

S: “This meal was so much fun! Teresa’s squash bowl idea was wonderfully different. Go Cape Verde!”

T: “I loved learning about this dish – the variety and passion of cuisine was inspiring.”

Trivial Trifles

  • The capital of Cape Verde is Praia
  • The official language is Portuguese
  • Cape Verde became independent from Portugal on July 5th, 1975
  • It is composed of ten islands (nine are inhabited)
  • The largest active volcano within Cape Verde is Pico do Fogo (last eruption in 2014)

 

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