Caldo Verde – Green Soup

Caldo verde – (Portuguese for “green broth”) – is a popular soup in Portuguese cuisine. Caldo verde originated from the Minho Province in northern Portugal. Today, it is a traditional national favourite that has spread across the nation and abroad. References to the soup appear in many novels by Camilo Castelo Branco.

Caldo Verde - Green Soup
The basic ingredients for caldo verde are potatoes, onions and kale (some recipes call for collard greens instead). Common additional ingredients are garlic, salt, and olive oil. Some recipes add meat, such as ham hock, making it similar to Italo-American wedding soup. The soup is often accompanied by slices of chouriço or linguiça, or with Portuguese broa cornbread for dipping. In Portugal, caldo verde is typically consumed during Portuguese celebrations, such as weddings., birthdays, and popular parties, for example, the St. John party, in Porto. It is sometimes consumed before a main course meal or as a late supper.
Ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 6 potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 litres cold water
  • 170 g linguiça sausage, thinly sliced - (see linguiça substitutes)
  • 2½ teaspoons salt
  • ground black pepper, to taste
  • 450 g kale, rinsed and julienned
Instructions
  1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, cook onion and garlic in 3 tablespoons olive oil for 3 minutes. Stir in potatoes and cook, stirring constantly, 3 minutes more. Pour in water, bring to a boil, and let boil gently for 20 minutes, until potatoes are mushy.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium-low heat, cook sausage until it has released most of its fat, 10 minutes. Drain.
  3. Mash potatoes or puree the potato mixture with a blender or food processor. Stir the sausage, salt and pepper into the soup and return to medium heat. Cover and simmer 5 minutes.
  4. Just before serving, stir kale into soup and simmer, 5 minutes, until kale is tender and jade green. Stir in the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and serve at once.

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