How to Make Caldo Verde a Comforting Portuguese Kale Soup

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Caldo Verde is a simple to make beloved Portuguese dish. This traditional and delicious soup is one you can enjoy whether it is warm or cold outside.

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Caldo Verde – Portuguese Green Soup

Warm and comforting Caldo Verde soup

Caldo Verde originally comes from the Minho region in northern Portugal. It is the most popular Portuguese soup and can be found from rural to luxury dinner tables.

The name translates to “green broth” in English and is also referred to as Portuguese green soup. That is because it’s made with couve verde, a particular dark green cabbage not widely available beyond Portugal’s borders.

Popular substitutes for couve verde are collard greens or kale. Both kale and collard greens are nutritionally dense and loaded with many health benefits.

This traditional Portuguese green soup is based on the combination of just a few simple ingredients. 

The Caldo Verde recipe calls for potatoes, collard greens or kale, sliced chouriço or smoked Portuguese sausage and Portuguese olive oil.

Discovering Caldo Verde in Portugal

Claire and Rosemary Enjoying Caldo Verde in Lisbon Portugal by  AuthenticFoodQuest
Rosemary & Claire enjoying Caldo Verde as a starter in Lisbon

In Portugal, Caldo Verde is served as an appetizer or as a light dinner. It is often accompanied with a regional dense bread called broa from northern Portugal. 

As a substitute, you can use artisan bread to sop up every drop in the bowl.

The Portuguese have as many Caldo Verde recipes as there are kitchens. We enjoyed soups with carrots and beans but always found ourselves gravitating towards the traditional recipe.

READ MORE: The 10 Most Popular Portuguese Dishes You Want to Enjoy

How to Make Caldo Verde or Portuguese Green Soup at Home

Are you ready to try making Caldo Verde or the most famous Portuguese green soup? 

Make a large pot as this soup is even better the next day.

Caldo Verde Recipe Shopping List

Portuguese Kale at market in Portugal by AuthenticFoodQuest
Couve verde or Portuguese kale at a market in Braga

Caldo Verde Portuguese Green Soup Cooking Tips

Portuguese Kale at the market in Lisbon for Caldo Verde Recipe by AuthenticFoodQuest
Bags of Portuguese kale cut into thin strips at a Lisbon market
  • To make this Caldo Verde recipe the Portuguese way, cut the kale or collard greens into thin strips instead of chopping it. If you don’t cut it into strips, the Portuguese would say it’s not Portuguese Caldo Verde soup.
  • The creaminess of this soup depends on your tastes. We enjoyed it soupy. If you like your soups more creamy, you can add more potatoes. If it gets too thick simply add water to thin it out.
Portuguese Collard green Soup by Authentic Food Quest

Caldo Verde

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

This Caldo Verde Portuguese green soup recipe is healthy and easy to make. Taste the flavors of Portugal as you delight in this soup for lunch or dinner.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound of kale or collard greens with the leaves cut into thin slices
  • ½ pound of Portuguese chorizo sausage or Spanish chorizo cut into thin slices
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 - 4 potatoes, 1 - 1 ½ pounds, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 3 - 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 - 7 cups of water, vegetable or chicken broth
  • ½ cup of Portuguese olive oil plus more for serving
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Cornbread or other type of bread to eat with the soup

Instructions

  1. Start by cutting the collard greens or kale. Stack the leaves, three at a time and roll them like a cigar. Cut crosswise into very, very thin strips. Set aside.
  2. In a skillet, over medium heat cook the chorizo until lightly browned on both sides. Use a slotted spoon to remove the sausage to a plate. Reserve sausage flavored oil to flavor the soup.
  3. In a large pot over medium heat, warm 3 tablespoons of olive oil and cook onions until tender and translucent. Add garlic and cook for 2 more minutes.
  4. Stir in potatoes and add water or combination of water and broth and bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce the heat and let the soup simmer. Cook until the potatoes are tender, about 10- 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let them cool slightly.
  6. Mash the potatoes and then bring them back to the pot. 
  7. Using a hand blender, blend the soup until smooth. Or you can use a regular blender and blend the soup in batches.
  8. Add about half the sausage slices and fat to the soup
  9. Add the collard greens or kale, stir, and keep and cook for a few more minutes until the soup turns bright green. Don’t overcook as the greens should be slightly crunchy. 
  10. Season with salt and pepper to taste
  11. Remove from heat and drizzle with extra Portuguese olive oil. 
  12. Ladle the Caldo Verde soup into bowls topped with thin slices of chorizo in each one.
  13. Serve hot accompanied by cornbread.

Notes

The quantities here are approximate. If you like your soup creamier add more potatoes. Be sure to add in enough salt to bring out the flavors.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 566Total Fat: 37gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 26gCholesterol: 45mgSodium: 1076mgCarbohydrates: 44gFiber: 7gSugar: 5gProtein: 18g

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Looking for More Portuguese Travel-Inspired Recipes?

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38 comments

  1. My husband and I made this the other night for dinner, and we loved it! Such a delicious and very tasty soup. We love how it turned out and that it’s healthy! Can’t wait to make this again!

    Reply
  2. My husband and I made this the other night for dinner, and we loved it! Such a delicious and very tasty soup. We love how it turned out and that it’s healthy! Can’t wait to make this again!

    Reply
  3. This looks so delicious and tasty! My husband and daughter are going to love this recipe! I can’t wait to give this a try! So excited!

    Reply
  4. That is such a delicious looking soup. I love the combination of potatoes with greens – so hearty and so yummy. Thanks for the recipe, will try it for my family.

    Reply
  5. I’ve been experimenting with lots of new recipes over the past couple of months. I made this today and my entire family really enjoyed it! I am adding it to my groupings of recipes for our weekly menu plans. I am so excited to have a new favorite to add into the rotation!!

    Reply

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