Thursday, March 15, 2012

Caldo Verde (Portuguese Green Soup)

Today, I am sharing with you a soup from my childhood. As a first generation Portuguese-American, caldo verde was a staple in my home growing up. Today, I make it for my kids and my son just LOVES it!

So what is caldo verde? It's a potato soup with very thinly sliced (chiffonade) kale. It traditional has 2-3 thin slices of chorizo or linguica swimming in the broth. If you do not have this sausage or want to keep it as a vegetarian dish, just will still be delicious.

This soup consistes of just a few ingredients (onion, garlic, potato, kale or collard greens, salt and pepper) and is very simple to make. However, if you are not familiar with how to chiffonade the kale, I'll show you how here:

How to prepare the collard greens or kale. I used collard greens this time:

1. Rinse your collard greens with cool water and pat dry with paper towels.

2. Cut out the tough center stem.

3. Roll a 2 or 3 leaves up tightly. Then cut into very thin slivers using a sharp knife.

4. Beautiful chiffonade collard greens.


4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
1 quarts cold water
2-3 ounces chorizo or linguica sausage, thinly sliced (can omit to keep it vegetarian)
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
ground black pepper to taste
1/2 pound kale or collard greens, rinsed and julienned


In a large saucepan over medium heat, cook onion and garlic in 3 tablespoons olive oil for 3 minutes.

Stir in potatoes and cook, stirring constantly, 3 minutes more. Pour in water, bring to a boil, and let boil gently for 18-20 minutes or until potatoes are mushy.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, cook sausage until it has released most of its fat, about 10 minutes. Drain.

Mash potatoes or puree the potato mixture with a blender, food processor or hand blender (this is what I use). Stir the sausage, salt and pepper into the soup and return to medium heat. Cover and simmer 3 minutes.

Just before serving, stir kale into soup and simmer, 5 minutes, until kale is tender and jade green. Stir in the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and serve at once.

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