Portuguese Caldo Verde (Collard Greens Soup)
This authentic Portuguese caldo verde with chorizo recipe is one of the most popular soups made by “avós” all over Portugal. You can even associate the smell of caldo verde with a traditional portuguese home.
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What is caldo verde?
Caldo verde literally means green soup. And you can see why just by looking at the pictures.
Portugal has a long history of humble recipes that were created during the hard times of war, poverty, and starvation.
That’s why most traditional recipes are so simple and use ingredients like potatoes, carrots, cabbage, collard greens, etc. Really inexpensive food that was easily found in the most rural areas of the country.
So, caldo verde is basically a creamy potato soup with collard greens (couve manteiga), and Portuguese chorizo.
It’s as simple as it sounds. But it’s the most iconic Portuguese comfort food for the cold winter nights.
How to make caldo verde?
This is a pretty simple recipe.
Start by peeling the potatoes and cut it into same-size cubes. Boil the potatoes, garlic, and onion with enough water to cover them — about 6-7 cups — and add a 1 chicken or vegetable bouillon cube.
I usually use 3 medium size potatoes for 4 – 6 plates of soup. The number of potatoes will determine the thickness of the soup. If you want a more liquid soup just use 2 medium-size potatoes.
When then potatoes are fork-tender, blend — using the same water where you boiled them — until you get a creamy consistency.
Take the potatoes cream back into the stove and bring it to a gentle simmer. Add the collard greens — thinly chopped– and cook for a couple of minutes just to wilt the leaves. This should take 5 minutes maximum. The idea is to soften the leaves but if you boil them or cook for longer they will disintegrate into the cream.
Season with salt and pepper if needed. The bouillon cubes usually have a lot of sodium in them. Plus the chorizo will add a bit more of salt, so be mindful of this.
In a small pan, I cook the chorizo cut into rounds. I like the chorizo crispy so it gives a nice crunchy texture to the creamy soup. Then, I add the cooked chorizo into the soup and it’s ready to serve.
The perfect match for this soup is Portuguese chorizo of course, but you can trade it for regular chorizo. It works just as well.
Other Portuguese Recipes
- 2 cups thinly chopped collard greens
- 3 potatoes
- 1 big onion
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 chicken bouillon cube
- 1 chorizo
- Salt and pepper to taste
In a big soup pot, add the potatoes peeled and cut into medium size cubes. Add enough water to cover the potatoes. Toss the bouillon cube, the onion cut in halves, and the garlic cloves minced. Bring it to a boil and cook for 10-15 minutes until the potatoes are fork-tender.
Blend the soup to get a thick cream. Bring it back to the pot and let it simmer over low heat. Toss the collard greens chopped thinly. Cook for 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper if needed.
Cut the chorizo into thin rounds. Cook in a small pan over medium heat to get crispy chorizo bites. Toss them into the soup. Serve.