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
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.
Discovering Caldo Verde in Portugal
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.
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 Portuguese Green Soup Cooking Tips
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Stir in potatoes and add water or combination of water and broth and bring to a boil.
- 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.
- Mash the potatoes and then bring them back to the pot.
- Using a hand blender, blend the soup until smooth. Or you can use a regular blender and blend the soup in batches.
- Add about half the sausage slices and fat to the soup
- 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.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste
- Remove from heat and drizzle with extra Portuguese olive oil.
- Ladle the Caldo Verde soup into bowls topped with thin slices of chorizo in each one.
- Serve hot accompanied by cornbread.
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
Looking for More Portuguese Recipes?
Check out other recipes we discovered while exploring local flavors in Portugal.
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Rosemary is a writer, culinary explorer, and digital nomad. Together with her partner, Claire, they created Authentic Food Quest to help people find the best local food on their travels. For over 5 years they have eaten their way through South America, Southeast Asia, Europe, and North America while sharing the best local food experiences on their website. Authentic Food Quest has been featured on top publications such as Huffington Post, Business Insider, and Honest Cooking. Rosemary and Claire are also authors of Authentic Food Quest Argentina and Authentic Food Quest Peru, available on Amazon. Prior to creating Authentic Food Quest, Rosemary worked as a strategy director in advertising for over 15 years.
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