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Portuguese Soup Recipe: Caldo Verde

Once again, we recently found ourselves with soup on the brain, and the desire to try something new. After looking around, caldo verde seemed like the perfect new soup to enjoy while the weather is still slightly chilly. The bitterness from the leafy greens blended perfectly with the saltiness from the sausage and the broth, and that last drizzle of olive oil really helped perfume the soup and give it a special flourish.

Traditionally, caldo verde is made with a dark green cabbage that isn’t widely available outside of Portugal. Spinach or kale make great substitutes, however. To make the broth nice and smooth, we pureed some of the potatoes with a little olive oil. Finally, to make this soup nice and hearty, we increased the amount of sausage and potatoes from what’s normally called for to turn the soup into a main course as opposed to a first course. Keep reading below for this delicious recipe…

Portuguese Soup Recipe: Caldo Verde

Caldo Verde

(makes 6-8 servings)

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 12oz sausage cut into 1/2″ pieces, Spanish-style chorizo preferred but kielbasa works as a substitute
  • 1 onion, chopped fine
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2lbs yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4″ pieces
  • 5 cups chicken broth
  • 3 cups water
  • 1lb collard greens, stemmed and cut into 1″ pieces
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar
  • extra-virgin olive oil for serving

Directions

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the sausage and cook, stirring occasionally until lightly browned 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer the sausage to a bowl and set aside. Reduce the heat to medium and add onion, garlic, 1 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper flakes. Season with pepper to taste. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is translucent (2 to 3 minutes). Add potatoes, broth, and water. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, until the potatoes are just tender, 8 to 10 minutes.
  2. Transfer 3/4 cup of the solids and 3/4 cup of the broth to a blender or food processor. Add the collard greens to the pot and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the chorizo and continue to simmer until greens are tender (8 to 10 minutes longer).
  3. Add the remaining tablespoons oil to the soup in the blender and process until very smooth and homogeneous, about 1 minute. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the pureed soup mixture and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with a drizzle of olive oil just before serving and serve with slices of hearty bread.

Recipe adapted from Leite’s Culinaria

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