Caldo verde is the ultimate comfort soup. It’s hearty, undeniably wholesome, and comes together with just a few simple ingredients. Incredibly easy to whip up, and capable of delivering all the cozy feels, you might just find yourself whipping up a batch every week this fall and winter.
Caldo verde is a traditional Portuguese soup. It’s a simple blend of broth, potatoes and aromatics that get hit with some chopped kale and linguiça (Portuguese sausage similar to chorizo) for the perfect balance of flavors and macro-nutrients. Comforting carbs from the potato, vitamins and fiber from the kale, and luscious fat and protein from the linguiça.
Portugal is *so* on trend right now. You can’t flip through a travel or cooking magazine right now without a feature on Portugal. I was lucky enough to visit about 10 years ago with my family and we had a great trip, seeing much of the country and as a result, getting to try much of its food. And I can’t lie. I didn’t love the food. There, I said it. It’s an unpopular opinion, but I’m no stranger to them.
I recognize that part of this lies with me. I don’t love shellfish, and as a coastal country, dishes with bivalves abound in Portugal. I’ve since evolved and now enjoy shrimp and other sea creatures like octopus, but muscles and clams still don’t do it for me. Fortunately for me, I discovered caldo verde early on in our trip and it became a staple. My foodie mom was clued in to what the dish is, otherwise I might have skipped over it on the menu. After all, caldo verde means green soup, and that’s not the most intriguing of names.
I have memories of countless bowls of caldo verde in Portugal, the dish often saving me from menus otherwise barren of food I wanted to eat. Nestled at the top of each bowl of soup was always one lone, perfectly sliced piece of linguiça. I’ve amped up the amount of sausage here so that the soup is even heartier and can easily serve as a main dish.
I’ve also let my type-A inner freak free and meticulously chiffonaded the kale into wispy thin ribbons. How you chop your kale (or collard greens) is entirely up to you. A rough chop will certainly do, but given how therapeutic a meticulous chopping experience can be, and it’s relative affordability to the cost of therapy, I highly recommend giving it a try.
There are a number of easy swaps you could make here as well. You could use white sweet potatoes instead of regular potatoes for a pure Paleo experience, and you could swap chorizo for linguiça if you can’t find it. I like the Silva brand of linguiça that I find at my local Whole Foods. Spicy Italian sausage would work just as well, though it would be a less traditional (albeit equally tasty) take on the dish. Lastly, feel free to use collard greens instead of kale. Any mixing and matching of the above will yield a tasty take on caldo verde.Print
A hearty and easy soup that hits all the flavor and nutritional notes, caldo verde will quickly become your go-to soup!
- 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 large bunch of lacinato kale, chopped in thin ribbons (curly kale or collard greens will also work)
- 2 medium russet potatoes, peeled and cut in 3/4 inch chunks (about 1 pound)
- 12 oz cured linguiça or other sausage of choice, thinly sliced
- 5-6 cups chicken stock
- 1 teaspoon piment d’espelette (can swap paprika, or a pinch of cayenne)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt to taste
- In a large heavy bottomed pot, heat the olive oil over medium high heat until shimmering. Add the onions and cook until translucent, about 3-4 minutes
- Add the garlic and stir, cooking until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add in the stock, the cubed potatoes, the piment d’espellete and a pinch of salt. Bring to a simmer
- Simmer for 30 minutes on medium low heat, until the potatoes are tender and starting to fall apart
- Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth. If it looks too thick, add some more broth or water to thin it out just a touch
- Add in the linguiça and kale and simmer for another 5 minutes, until heated through. Taste for salt/seasoning and add as needed
- If you are using raw chorizo, linguiça or sausage please note you will need to cook it before adding it to the soup. If you are using cured sausage you can add it directly in.
- If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can blend the soup in a blender and add back to the pot to finish it off.
Keywords: soup, caldo verde, kale, sausage, chorizo