Is there any traditional Portuguese soup more popular than caldo verde? Simple, practical, cheap, made with potatoes, sausage and collard greens (also kale). The result of this Caldo Verde Soup is creamy and comforting.
Hot soups accompanied by bread and the typical broas are a classic of Portuguese cuisine, and one of the most symbolic soups in Portugal is Caldo Verde, which in Portuguese means ‘green broth’, a hint about the importance of the green leaf in the recipe. This creamy soup was born in the Minho region, North of Portugal, but it warmed so many hearts that it became a traditional soup throughout the country.
The ingredients of Caldo Verde Soup are simple and inexpensive. This soup is so popular that in addition to being part of the daily life of Portuguese homes, it is also part of the menu of fine restaurants in Portugal. The fact is that Portugue Green Soup is one of those dishes that look like they were made to bring tenderness and good memories. You need to prove it.
To give more emphasis on the importance of Caldo Verde Soup in Portuguese culture, it is part of several celebrations throughout the year, such as the São João festival, and has been elected one of the 7 wonders of Portuguese cuisine. Look at the relevance!
How to make Caldo Verde like a Portuguese from Minho
The Portuguese Caldo Verde is made with a cream of potatoes cooked with onion and garlic, and finely chopped portuguese kale (you can use green collard or regular kale instead). Traditionally, the soup is served in a bowl with a few slices of chorizo (cured sausage) and accompanies a piece of cornbread (called broa de milho).
The broth can be served either as a starter or a light meal. And of course, it is perfect if paired with a glass of green wine, after all the region producing the green wine is the same one that created the Portuguese Kale Soup.
How is Caldo Verde Soup in Brazil and its main differences
Caldo verde also became a tradition overseas, the recipe was introduced in Brazil along with the June celebrations, such as the São João Festival prior mentioned. The Brazilian recipe is very similar, but there are differences:
- Portuguese type cured chorizo is not common in Brazil, other types of smoked sausage (similar to kielbasa) and bacon are used. For this reason, we sauteed the sausage and bacon in the Brazilian recipe, this step is not necessary in the Portuguese recipe.
- In place of cornbread, in Brazil it is common to serve soup with regular breads and toasts, made with wheat flour.
Other versions of Caldo Verde Soup quite different from the original:
- With manioc instead of potatoes;
- Caldo Verde served inside of round-shape sourdough bread;
- Made with mushrooms instead of sausage for a vegetarian version of Caldo Verde Soup;
- Based on chayote or cauliflower cream for a low-carb kale soup.
Tips for preparing broth soup:
- Our recipe is made with Smoked Linguiça. If you find the Portuguese or Spanish chorizo just skip the step of sautéing the sausage;
- The recipe gets easier if you beat the potato in the hand mixer directly in the pan or in a blender.
- For a very creamy Kale Soup, just reduce the proportion of water in the recipe. Now, if you want to thicken the Caldo Verde after it has been beaten, let the soup cook for more time until the water evaporates and reaches your favourite spot. In Portugal, the broth is not so thick.
- The green leaves (kale or collard green) need to be chopped into a chiffonade cut, with very thin strands to get to the right spot. And it goes to the pan only at the end of the preparation.
Caldo Verde – Creamy Potato and Kale Soup
- 1 onion – chopped
- 3 cloves garlic – minced
- 4 potatoes – cut into cubes
- 1 smoked sausage – chorizo, linguiça or kielbasa
- ½ bunch collard green – or kale – cut into very thin strips
- 1 tsp salt
- olive oil
- Remove the skin from the sausage and cut into thin slices or half-moons. Chop the onion and garlic. Peel and cut the potatoes into cubes. Cut the collard greens into very thin (chiffonade cut).
- In a pan, add oil and fry the sausage until golden brown. Remove and reserve it a bow
- In the same pan you used for the sausage, add a little more oil and sauté the onion and garlic.
- Add the potatoes, salt and water or homemade broth, keep the pan over high heat until the liquid starts to boil. Then, reduce the heat to medium and cook the potatoes until tender (approx. 20 min).
- Turn off the heat and with the help of a hand mixer or blender, beat the soup to turn it into a cream.
- If using a blender, return the cream to the pan.
- Add the fried sausage, then the kale and cook it for more 5 minutes. Taste and correct the salt, if necessary.
- Now it's time to serve! Don't forget to drizzle olive oil in each bowl.
Best served with a piece of cornbread and a glass of wine.