Caldo Verde – Portuguese Green Soup

Few things are as warming and delicious as some of the soups available here in Portugal. They’re also amazingly cheap at most cafés. Often a serving of sopa do dia and a slice of bread can be as little as €1! That’s the soup of the day, and if you’re lucky it will be a serving of Caldo Verde! Caldo Verde has to be one of our favourite soups, and the Verde in its name refers to the deep green colour of Portuguese Kale. It’s sometimes also referred to as Portuguese Cabbage, and in Portuguese you’ll see it referred to as Couve Tronchuda. It’s important to get this kale sliced right, as it wouldn’t be a Caldo Verde if they weren’t simply cut into long thin strands.

Caldo Verde is believed to have originated in the north of the country, but it’s served everywhere and especially popular as a starter during celebrations. It’s simple to make and made from some easy to find local and healthy ingredients, so there shouldn’t be anything stopping you! In 2011, Caldo Verde would be awarded the title of one of Portugal’s Seven Wonders of Gastronomy. The Seven wonders of Gastronomy were a hand-picked list of Portuguese dishes chosen to represent the heritage, and history of traditional food production in Portugal.

Serving Caldo Verde

Traditionally, the soup is served with broa de milho. That’s a type of Portuguese corn bread, it’s a dense bread, with a crunchy and crumbly top and rather excellent to mop the soup up with. If you can’t find corn bread, or you’re not making it yourself, any good fresh bread will do. With that out of the way, lets get into our recipe!

Our Caldo Verde Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 200g kale
  • 500g potatoes
  • 2 medium size onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 Chorizo
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

Preparation:

  1. Roughly chop onions and garlic, peel and dice the potatoes. Place it in a large pot, covering with water.
  2. Sprinkle in some salt, place it over a high heat, bringing it to a boil. Reduce the heat to low-medium, and let it simmer for around 20 minutes.
  3. Blend everything with an electric mixer to create your soup base.
  4. Finely slice the kale, add it to the soup base. Leave it to cook for another 7 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, slice and fry the chorizo. Add in the cooked chorizo and its fat, saving a couple of slices for the garnish.
  6. Season it with black pepper, and salt if needed.
  7. Serve it with some broa de milho!

Let us know what your favourite soups from Portugal are in the comments!

Caldo Verde

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