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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.

caldo verde served in ceramic bowls

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 Northern 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 green 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!

Dads Caldo Verde Recipe

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 sausage and kale 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.

caldo verde pictured from above

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.

Serve as an appetizer or as a main with some crusty bread alongside. And if you end up with leftovers, lucky you! It’s even better the next day.

More Must-Try Soups

How To Make Caldo Verde

Step 1: Brown sausage then remove from pan, along with all but a couple tablespoons of the oil.

Removing Browned Sausage from the Pan

Step 2: Add onion and garlic; cook and stir until onion is translucent.

Cooking Onion and Garlic

Step 3: Add potatoes and water; bring to boil and then simmer until potatoes are tender.

Adding Potatoes and Water to Soup

Step 4: Add kale and simmer until tender.

Adding Kale to Soup

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.

Stirring Browned Sausage into the Soup

Caldo Verde Recipe Video

Caldo Verde

5 from 1 vote
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 35 minutes
Total: 50 minutes
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Calories: 338
Servings: 6 people
Simply said, this Caldo Verde soup is spectacular. It’s a Portuguese classic for good reason.

Ingredients  

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 12 ounces smoked sausage cut into 1/4-inch rounds, (recipe note #1)
  • 1 large yellow onion diced
  • 12 large garlic cloves coarsely chopped
  • 2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes diced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt or more, or 3-4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/3 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper or more
  • 1 bunch kale chopped
  • extra virgin olive oil to finish

Instructions 

  • Heat a large soup pot over medium 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 (recipe note #2), 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 (recipe note #3).
  • 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. Ladle soup into bowls and finish with a generous drizzle of olive oil.

Notes

  1. Linguica (a type of Portuguese sausage) or Spanish Chorizo sausage are both great in this soup. If you can’t find one of those, kielbasa is also an option.
  2. I love the clean flavor of this soup with a water base – it really allows the earthy kale to shine. That said, you can use chicken broth or chicken stock in place of water if you like.
  3. For extra creaminess, puree some of the potatoes and kale right in the pot with an immersion blender or transfer to a standard blender.

Nutrition

Calories: 338kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 40mg | Sodium: 1082mg | Potassium: 912mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 2169IU | Vitamin C: 60mg | Calcium: 72mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Leave a comment & rate the recipe below!

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30 Comments

  1. Anita says:

    5 stars
    I tried the recipie . I followed your father’s way of sauteing potatoes, onions and garlic together and the result is a very delicious soup! My husband loves it too. Thank you for posting it!

    1. Marissa Stevens says:

      That’s wonderful to hear, Anita! I’m so glad that you and your husband are enjoying the soup.

  2. Maria Cline says:

    Hi Marissa,
    Although your recipe looks delicious, it’s not the traditional style Portuguese Caldo Verde. Caldo Verde is made with Portuguese Chorizo (usually only a few diced pieces is used for flavoring)the potatoes are puréed and the Kale is sliced (julienned) very thinly for the traditional look. I’m fully Portuguese and have the recipe that has been passed down by my mother from her mother and grandmother. I can vividly envision my grandmother making this soup especially for the Saõ Joaõ Festival, it’s served with grilled sardines….very traditional.
    Your ingredients are correct (linguiça sausage is used if Chorizo is not available), but the preparation is different…still looks delicious.😊

    1. Marissa Stevens says:

      Hello, Maria. 🙂 It’s wonderful to have recipes passed down through generations. Food that is interlaced with fond memories always tastes best! The recipe that I’ve shared for Caldo Verde was shared with my dad by the Portuguese family he was staying with (my sister’s mother-in-law) on a visit to Portugal. It’s the recipe that’s traditional in their family.

  3. David @ Spiced says:

    What a fun story! And what a delicious looking soup! I must admit that I’ve never heard of Caldo Verde before, but it sounds like an amazing soup. We always go into soup detox mode after the holidays, and we whip up huge batches of low-fat soups…this one definitely need to go on the list for this year! I love the addition of the bit of smoked sausage for flavor. 🙂

    1. Marissa says:

      We do the same, David. So nice to have delicious but light meals to recoup after the holidays. 😉

  4. Ben|Havocinthekitchen says:

    Portugal sounds lile a very nice country. You’re always back with either something rich or handsome haha. I’ve never heard of this soup either, Marissa. So simple yet heart and delicious – well done!

    1. Marissa says:

      You had my dad and I cracking up with this comment, Ben! Thank you. 🙂