Caldo Verde

Caldo Verde in a soup pot

This popular Portuguese soup is simply one of the best uses for kale that I know of. It combines several foods that I love to eat and don’t tend to tire of easily – potatoes, kale and chorizo sausage. Thank goodness I don’t tire of kale too easily, as – you will know if you come here at all regularly – I’m growing stupid amounts of it. Right at my front door too, so I’ve taken to picking bunches and thrusting them into the arms of departing guests. I did this just yesterday with a client and my (normally more socially graced) older son, who happened to be around, thought it helpful to say “You’ll give kale to anyone, Mum!”

Well, yes. If I could reach through your screen, I’d be handing you a bunch too.

Caldo Verde or ‘green broth’ is tremendously easy to make. My soup doesn’t really look like its appellation as I skip the step of blending the soup at the halfway point, preferring to keep the main elements in chunky in a golden broth. I suppose some might protest at my usage of the name Caldo Verde to describe this soup, given my deviation from the method, but it all tastes good.

The method is oh-so-simple, beginning with olive oil in a soup pot, to which chopped onion and chorizo are added. A little garlic follows.

Onion and chorizo sausage in a pot

Once the onion is soft, water, potatoes and a bit of salt and pepper go into the pot. The potatoes here were also grown in my garden.

Homegrown potatoes on a cutting board

Potatoes, onion and chorizo in a soup pot

While the soup cooks for about another 12 or 15 minutes, it’s time to prep the kale. A quick wash and sliced into ribbons, it goes into the pot and the soup is done just a few minutes later.

Curly kale on a cutting board

Caldo Verde
2 – 3 tbs olive oil
2 – 3 garlic cloves, crushed or minced
2 regular onions or 1 Spanish onion, chopped finely
2 dried chorizo sausages, sliced into rounds
8 cups water
4 – 5 medium golden potatoes, chopped roughly
4 – 8 kale leaves (depending on size and how much you like kale!), sliced into ribbons
Salt and pepper

Step 1 – Heat the olive oil over med-low in a soup pot and add onions and sliced chorizo; brown onion slightly, then add garlic.

Step 2 – Once the onion is soft, add the water, potatoes and season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil

Step 3 – Simmer the soup for about 12 to 15 minutes, until the potatoes are fork tender

Step 4 – Add the kale to the pot, and continue to simmer until it has wilted (about 3 or 4 minutes)

Step 5 – Spoon into bowls; drizzling with olive oil is optional

If you were going to stick with the more traditional method, then hold back half of the chorizo until after the kale is added and plan to cook slightly longer. Blend the soup in the put using an immersion blender before adding the kale.

This is a very satisfying meal in a bowl and just about one of the easiest soups to throw together.

12 thoughts on “Caldo Verde

  1. Yay! Caldo Verde is my absolute favorite soup, going back to the first time I ever had it, in a little restaurant in Sintra, Portugal, when my friend and were being frugal backpackers and tried to split a bowl. There was a minor fight over sharing, because it was so darn good! When I began making it myself, I used to blend it, trying to recreate what I had in Portugal. However blending it was too intense, because the broth got gummy with the starch from the potatoes (and I quickly learned that blending it with the kale in was not the way to go either, because it totally obliterated the kaleyness). Finally I figured out how to get it super close to the original: use a potato masher once everything is cooked and tender. Just mash a few times, to break down a few of the taters to thicken, but not cream, the broth. Perfeito!

    1. Sounds like you have some really great memories of this soup and your time in Portugal! I love the method that you came up with for blending – sounds worth a try. Thanks for sharing!

  2. This sounds so good! I eat lots of kale and potatoes and sausage in the winter but I’ve never thought to put them all together in a pot of soup. I’ll definitely be trying this.

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