Caldo Verde, meaning “green broth” in Portuguese, is a traditional soup in Portugal made with potatoes, kale or collard greens, smoked sausage and olive oil. This delicious Caldo Verde recipe is simple to prepare and made in just one pot.
Have I mentioned that my niece and nephew are half Portuguese?
You hear about backpack adorned twenty-somethings traversing around Europe, but how about flying there with a friend and her infant child, buying a VW bus (which at one point lost its brakes), and using odd jobs to fund many months of adventure? The tenacity!
My sister came home with a rich experience and a handsome Portuguese man whom she would eventually marry.
Some years after they were married, they traveled back to Portugal for a seaside family visit. Our dad joined them. He came home with a rich experience, a handsome classical guitar, and a love for the traditional Portuguese soup, Caldo Verde.
I’d never heard of this soup, so I asked him to send me the recipe. Here’s what arrived. Better than Christmas, to get a handwritten recipe in the mail from your dad!
Perhaps providence, I had a pound of kale, potatoes, and some locally made smoked sausage coming in our weekly CSA. (Forgive me Dad, but I feared that this soup would lack, well, oomph. Why I doubted I do not know, as you’ve always been a sage food guide.)
Simply said, this soup is spectacular. It’s a Portuguese classic for good reason. My dad warned not to improvise on the recipe, i.e., don’t just toss in random vegetables, pasta, beans, etc. It’s so true. Feel free to experiment with amounts, but stick to the components. Trust me.
No matter what your state of health, a steaming bowl of Caldo Verde will make you feel great. And, as you see on the recipe’s handwritten subtitle, hangover elixir is this soup’s lore. So, should you overindulge, you’ll have just the thing to mend your aching head.
How To Make Caldo Verde
Step 1: Brown sausage then remove from pan, along with all but a couple tablespoons of the oil.
Step 2: Add onion and garlic; cook and stir until onion is translucent.
Step 3: Add potatoes and water; bring to boil and then simmer until potatoes are tender.
Step 4: Add kale and simmer until tender.
Step 5: Stir in browned sausage and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve each bowl topped with a generous drizzle of olive oil.
Caldo Verde Recipe Video
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 12 ounces smoked sausage cut into 1/4-inch rounds
- 1 large white onion diced
- 12 cloves garlic coarsely chopped
- 2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes diced
- 2 teaspoons fine sea salt or more
- 1/3 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper or more
- 1 bunch kale chopped
- extra virgin olive oil to finish
- Heat a large soup pot over medium-high heat until hot. Add the olive oil and the sausage rounds; cook and stir until sausage is browned. Remove sausage from pan.
- Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of olive oil from pan (or add more olive oil if you have particularly lean sausage); add onion and garlic; cook and stir until the onion is translucent and the garlic is lightly toasted (taking care not to burn it), about 5 minutes.
- Add 2 quarts water, potatoes, salt and pepper; bring to boil. Lower heat and simmer until potatoes are soft, 15 to 20 minutes. Mash some of the potatoes to add texture to the soup.
- Add kale and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.
- Return browned sausage to soup and stir. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve each bowl with a generous drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.