Caldo Verde is a popular Portuguese soup recipe whose name translates simply to “green broth.” The soup gets its characteristic green color from hearty green leafy vegetables in the cabbage family (forms of kale or collard greens are often used). It gets its rich creamy texture from potatoes and a spicy punch from the use of spicy smoked sausage (such as linguiça).
These few simple ingredients come together to make a savory soup that is perfect for a starter, or a full meal when paired with crusty bread for sopping up the rich broth.
Note: Although there are many variations, In traditional Caldo Verde recipes, the sausage of often added at the end. The spicy smoky sausage is already fully cooked. We suggest that taking the extra step and browning the sausage and using the drippings to cook the onions and garlic adds another dimension of flavor.
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Makes 6 Servings
- 12 Ounces Portuguese Chourico or Linguiça (Can be substituted with Spanish Chorizo, Andouille or Kielbasa), Cut into 1/4 inch Rounds
- 1 Medium Yellow Onion, Diced
- 4 Cloves Garlic, Minced
- 4 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Divided
- 4 Large Russet Potatoes (or 6 Medium Yukon Gold), Peeled and cut into 1/2 inch Cubes
- 6 cups Low-Sodium Chicken Broth (preferably homemade)
- 1 Bunch Kale or Collard Greens (about 3/4 Pound), Washed, tough stems removed
- Salt and Pepper, To Taste
- Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a sauce pan over medium heat. Add the Sausage and cook until they become lightly toasted around the outer edges. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Remove all but 2 tablespoons of oil from the bottom of the pan (reserving the rest). Add the onions and saute over medium heat for about 3 minutes (until they begin to wilt slightly). Add the onions and cook for another 2 minutes.
- Add the potato cubes to the pan and mix. If the potatoes are not completely coated with oil, drizzle with some of the reserved sausage drippings. Cook for 2 minutes.
- Transfer the mixture to a soup pot along with the chicken stock. Increase heat until the liquid begins to boil. Then reduce the heat and cook until the potatoes are cooked through (about 20 minutes).
- In the mean time, wash the kale or collard greens and remove the hard stems. greens. Working in small batches, cut them julienne style but rolling them a few leaves together lengthwise into a cigar shaped bunches. Shred by cutting crosswise into small sections resembling blades of grass. NOTE: if you are concerned about bitterness, add the greens to boiling water for 1-2 minutes, drain into a strainer and rinse with cold water.
- Remove 1/2 of the potatoes from the soup. Mash them using a potato ricer, passing them through a strainer or potato masher.
- Return the potatoes to the soup and add the greens and the sausage. Allow to simmer for about 5 minutes. The greens should be bright and slightly crunchy. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Ladle into bowls and drizzle lightly with olive oil (optional). Serve with crusty bread.
Traveling to Portugal? Don’t miss our guide to Fun Things to do in Lisbon (including wine tasting and day trips from the city of 7 hills).