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Best Caldo Verde Recipes

Best Caldo Verde Recipes

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Caldo Verde Shopping Tips

Basic Latin ingredients include rice, achiote oil, adobo seasoning, and beans.

Caldo Verde Cooking Tips

Latin food often packs a lot of heat, so try to moderate the amount of chiles and spices you use for your dish.

Caldo Verde

You can not speak of Portuguese cuisine without mentioning its famous caldo verde.

What is caldo verde?

Caldo verde is a soup originally from the former province of Minho, north-west of Portugal, now known as the province of Entre Douro-e-Minho. This recipe was subsequently adopted by the entire country.

Caldo verde, literally “green soup”, is a traditional Portuguese and Brazilian dish made with potatoes and kale.

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What cabbage is used in caldo verde?

This green cabbage used to make this Portuguese soup is a leafy kale. It does not form a ball like cabbage commonly known in most countries, but it is a very large cabbage with stems and leaves. It is found in all Portuguese markets either whole or with leaves and stems already thinly sliced.

In Portugal, the most used cabbage is collard greens typical of the Minho region, but you can use another large leaf cabbage. For my part, I chose to make a Portuguese kale soup as an alternative to this collard green soup.

But beware, the leafy cabbage that you choose for this soup should be very green because depending on the variety, kale leaves can be purple, dark green, bluish-green or pale green.

Caldo verde soup is traditionally served with Portuguese sausage called chouriço (chorizo) or linguiça, but other meats can be used instead. For my part, I chose the version with chorizo .

This is a soup served throughout the country, from peasant families to luxury hotels during all the holidays without exception. It is such an institution that the soup was elected in 2011 as one of the seven wonders of Portuguese cuisine in third position after alheiras de Mirandela (traditional sausage made with bread and a mixture of several meats) and cheese from Serra da Estrela (a mountainous region in Portugal). The other four were elected wonders were arroz de marisco (rice with seafood), sardinha assada (barbecued sardine), leitão da Bairrada (suckling pig fully cooked in a bread oven) and pastel de Belém(Lisbon typical flan).

How to serve caldo verde

Caldo verde is more of a canvas that you can work with to create your own. For example, sometimes green cabbage is used in place of or in addition to collard greens or kale and pepperoni or sausage is used if chouriço (Portuguese chorizo) or linguiça are hard to find. Some people make this soup with beef or boneless pork stew meat, and some even incorporate some white beans for a heartier soup.

Each region of Portugal has its own version of pork sausage, so the local sausage will typically be used. However, potato, onion, garlic and especially olive oil cannot be substituted.

The caldo verde soup is traditionally served with broa, a fermented corn bread with yeast, popular in Portugal and Brazil. The only difference between the Portuguese and Brazilian version is that the Brazilian version of broa is generously flavored with fennel.

Caldo verde in literature

Camilo Castelo Branco, Eca de Queiroz, Júlio Dinis and Ramalho Ortigão are some of the writers and poets whose works sing and praise the so-called “Portuguese green juice”.

Famous Portuguese poet António Correia de Oliveira (1879-1960) who was nominated 15 times for a Nobel Prize without ever receiving one characterized caldo verde as “a marriage of flavors and livelihood.” While poet Reinaldo Ferreira talks about this soup in a poem sung by famous Amalia Rodrigues, Uma Casa Portuguesa (a Portuguese House) which almost made it as the second national anthem “it takes very little, very little to simply brighten a life… love, bread, wine and hot caldo verde in a bowl”

“Basta pouco, poucochinho p’ra alegrar
uma existência singela…
É só amor, pão e vinho
e um caldo verde, verdinho
a fumegar”

Big thanks to my Portuguese friend Cecile and her mother for their valuable advice to make this delicious traditional Portuguese soup. I just loved it!

This recipe is validated by our expert in Portuguese cuisine, Chef Alexandre Silva. Chef Alexandre is the Michelin starred chef-owner of the restaurant Loco in Lisbon.

About this Caldo Verde recipe

Portuguese Green Soup, or as we call it in Portuguese, Caldo Verde, is a smoky and hearty soup traditionally made with smoked sausage, potatoes and collard greens.

Caldo Verde, although extremely popular in Brazil is actually a traditional Portuguese soup, from northern Portugal. In Brazil, as well as in Portugal, this dish is a must-have item on any menu during our Festas de São João, which highlight the celebration of the birth the Saint John the Baptist. This custom was introduced to us by the Portuguese during colonial times, and for Catholic Brazilians, this is an opportunity to give thanks to St. John and other saints, as well as celebrate rural life through food, clothing and music.

I truly miss going to Festas de São João… the neighborhood getting together, the costumes, the music and dancing, and of course, all the amazing food. And eating my mom’s caldo verde recipe is one way to fell better about it.

Needless to say, this soup has a very special place in my heart! I love having it with tons of Portuguese olive oil on top and fresh crusty bread – it’s like comfort food to me.

Caldo verde is a tribute to my childhood, and that of every other Brazilian I know, and every spoonful is a gift, packed with delicious flavors, and the fondest memories.

I hope you love it as much as I do!

Recipe Summary

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound meaty beef shank
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 medium Spanish onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 quart chicken stock or low-sodium broth
  • 1/2 cup dried kidney beans, soaked overnight and drained
  • 1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 pound kale or collard greens, stems discarded and leaves chopped (1/2 pound)
  • 1/2 pound linguiça or Spanish chorizo, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar, plus more for serving

In a large pot, heat the olive oil. Season the beef shankwith salt and black pepper and add it to the pot. Cook over moderately high heat, turning, until browned all over, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Add the onion, bay leaf and a generous pinch each of salt and black pepper to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and crushed red pepper and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the stock, beans and 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Return the beef shank to the pot. Cover and cook over moderately low heat until the beef and beans are tender, about 2 hours and 30 minutes.

Add the potatoes to the pot and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 30 minutes. Using tongs, transfer the beef shank to a plate. Add the kale to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until wilted, about 10 minutes. Pick out and discard the bay leaf.

Using 2 forks, shred the beef into bite-size pieces. Discard the bone and any gristle. Add the beef and sausage to thepot and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the 2 tablespoons ofvinegar and season with salt and black pepper. Ladle into bowls and serve, passing more vinegar at the table.

Caldo Verde (Portuguese Green Soup)

  • 2lbs Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled
  • 1 onion, peeled and quartered
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup olive oil, plus more for serving
  • 1lbs sausage (chorizo, linguiça or kielbasa), thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch collard greens, thoroughly washed
  • 4 slices bacon, roughly chopped
  • 8 cups chicken (or vegetable) broth, low sodium
  • Salt and pepper to taste

What is traditional Portuguese food?

Aside from learning the Portuguese language, I wish to learn more about the way of life. One way to do that is by learning and cooking traditional Portuguese food. E.g., I learned about a special fowl-sausage made by Jews during the rise of Christianity. Jews created it to fool Christians into thinking they weren’t Jewish anymore, who can’t eat pork.

I was surprised (and slightly disheartened) to discover Portuguese food is animal product-heavy. Many dishes center around eggs yolks and/or meat.

Luckily, I stumbled upon Portuguese dishes that were simple to make healthy. Caldo Verde (potato-kale soup), Rabanada (Portuguese french toast) and Broa de Avintes (dense corn-rye bread) all found their way on to my list of dishes to make. It seemed most straightforward to first make Caldo Verde vegan and healthy.

Recipe Summary

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large Spanish onion, chopped
  • 6 ounces chorizo, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 2 quarts water
  • 1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 pound kale, stems discarded and leaves finely shredded

Heat the 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large enameled cast-iron casserole. Add the garlic, onion and half of the chorizo and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens, about 8 minutes. Add the water, potatoes and a large pinch each of salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. 2. Using an immersion blender, process the soup to a coarse puree. Bring the soup to a boil. Add the kale and simmer until it is wilted, about 3 minutes. Stir in the remaining half of the chorizo and simmer for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and serve in bowls, drizzled with olive oil.

Caldo Verde – Portuguese Green Soup

Today we’re going on a journey to Portugal were the classic green soup, “Caldo Verde” is probably the most loved and well known soup in the country.

Caldo Verde, originated in the northern Minho region of Portugal and is made with basic ingredients of potato and onion puree, and collard greens. There are many variations to this basic recipe in every Portuguese kitchen where ingredients are added such as red or white beans, ham hocks and meat bones to flavor the broth.

Sometimes Caldo Verde is mistaken for another classic known as “Kale Soup” which is very popular in the New England. The Kale version uses cubed potatoes, chopped chourico, tomatoes, and chopped Kale and looks nothing like Caldo Verde.

This is a very healthy soup because collard greens are considered to be one of the healthiest foods in world since they’re loaded with vitamin.

I learned to make this soup at a Portuguese Restaurant named “The Matador” which my brothers owned for almost 15 years. This soup was made fresh every day and sold out by the dinner rush.

We used hand crank processor imported from Portugal to Chiffonade (translates to “made of rags” in French) to cut the collard greens into thin strips.

One-Pot Wonder: Make Caldo Verde (Portuguese Potato Kale Soup) in Just 30 Minutes

Caldo verde, a potato and kale soup from northern Portugal, is one of those dishes that seem custom-made for lazy rainy days, when you want something hearty and comforting but don't feel like putting in a ton of effort. It's made with a few cheap and simple ingredients, it takes all of maybe 10 minutes of prep work, and it's ready to eat just half an hour later. Oh, and it's all made in a single pot, too. And did I mention delicious? It's delicious.

The only way you could really make this any easier is if you could convince someone to make it for you. Even that might take more effort.

Recipes for caldo verde don't vary too greatly. Most start with sautéing some form of allium (onions, leeks, garlic, or a mix) in olive oil, then adding kale, potatoes, and broth and letting it simmer. The only real differences come in the treatment of the kale and the degree to which the whole thing is cooked down. The best caldo verde I had in Portugal was cooked long enough that the potatoes almost completely broke down, thickening the soup into a creamy broth that was tinted deep green by finely shredded strips of kale. (Caldo verde means "green soup," so if you aren't cooking your kale long enough to turn the soup green, you ain't making caldo verde!)

At the same time, I also like the idea of having a few heartier chunks of potato in the soup. It reminds me a lot of ajiaco, a Colombian potato soup made by boiling a few types of potatoes together. The starchier potatoes break down and thicken the soup, while the waxier varieties become tender but hold their shape better. I decided to use the same technique in my caldo verde.

It worked like a charm. After 25 minutes of simmering, russet potatoes become tender enough that some rough stirring causes them to shed starch and thicken the soup. Meanwhile, Yukon Golds hold their shape nicely. Twenty-five minutes is also plenty of time for even tough curly kale to soften up.

The soup can be made entirely vegetarian by using either vegetable stock or water as the base, but chicken stock will give it a bit more flavor if you don't mind the meatiness. Adding some form of sausage to the soup is also not a necessity, but it's not uncommon. Sausages like chouriço, linguiça, or salpicão—a hard pork sausage flavored with red wine and paprika—are typically cooked separately, then added to the finished soup as a garnish. Most places I've shopped at in the US that have these sausages available sell them precooked, which makes them very convenient for soups like this. Just slice them up and add them toward the end of the simmering.

Really traditional Portuguese-style sausages can be a little tough to find in the US, but any garlicky precooked or dry-cured pork sausage can stand in. Go with what's available and what you like.

I just realized that there's something universally comforting about that combination of potato, brassica, and sausage in a soup. You can see how this caldo verde is kissing cousins with Polish kapusniak, for instance, despite being from the opposite side of the continent. (I'm not exactly sure where my mom's hot dog, potato, and cabbage soup fits into that family tree, but it's a family I'd like to get to know better.)


Heat butter in a large Dutch oven or saucepan over medium heat until melted. Add onion (or leek) and garlic, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring frequently, until softened but not browned, about 5 minutes, adding olive oil as necessary to keep the mixture loose and moist.

Add potatoes and stock and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Add kale and continue to cook until russet potato slices have completely broken down (you can press them with a spoon or potato masher for an even thicker texture), the Yukon Golds are tender, the greens have softened, and the soup has thickened to a creamy consistency, 25 to 30 minutes. Stir in sausage. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper and serve garnished with chives, if desired.

Watch the video: Caldo Verde - Portuguese Sausage Kale Soup - Food Wishes (July 2022).


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