Portuguese Caldo Verde

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Portuguese Caldo Verde

Get a taste of Portugal with some Caldo verde (which means “hot green broth”) soup! This national dish (think Portuguese equivalent of American comfort food) is kale-based soup and will satisfy any veggie craving. Whether your kids want to dip some cornbread or slurp it down as an appetizer, the rich and hearty flavors are sure to make them feel right at home.

Serving size: 5 quarts (5 L), serves 10 to 12

¼ cup (60 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
½ pound (225 g) chorizo sausage, sliced or cut into smaller pieces
1 large onion, diced
3 quarts (3 L) Chicken Stock, simmering
2 pounds (907 g) potatoes, preferably gold such as Yukon Gold, quartered and sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and fresh ground black pepper
1 large bunch kale, leaves shredded

Save for Stock: Onion trimmings, potato trimmings (don’t save kale stems as cole—cabbage family—vegetables lend a disagreeably strong flavor to stock)

1. Place olive oil in a large soup pot—here a French-style rondeau—and heat. Add the sausage and brown while breaking up the sausage into small bits.
2. Add the onions and cook over medium heat or until softened but not browned.
3. Add the Chicken Stock and use a wooden spoon to release the tasty browned bits on the bottom of the pot.
4. Add the potatoes, the garlic, and the salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, and then lower the heat and simmer until potatoes are half cooked, about 10 minutes.
5. Add the shredded kale to the soup and cook until tender, about 25 minutes.
6. Taste for seasoning and serve.

Soupmaker’s Tips
You may use Spanish-style dry-cured chorizo, Mexican style fresh chorizo, or authentic Portuguese chouriço here. All three are made from pork but Spanish chorizo is often smoked and dry-cured. It is seasoned with wine or garlic and with sweet and hot Spanish paprika. Mexican chorizo is a fresh sausage and must be cooked. Chouriço is a closely related Portuguese wood-smoked sausage seasoned with sweet paprika, garlic, salt, white or red wine, and Angolan piri-piri (hot pepper sauce).

Though Caldo Verde is often made with Vegetable Stock or simply water for the liquid, the richness and body of Chicken Stock make the soup more substantial and flavorful.

Have you tried making this delicious soup? Tell us in the comments below!

This recipe and photos comes from celebrated cookbook author and chef Aliza Green. Her cookbook “The Soupmaker’s Kitchen” dives into the art of making broths, stocks and soups with fresh ingredients for the most flavorful experience. To learn how to make all kinds of soups, from Vietnamese Pho to a Hungarian Woodlands Mushroom soup, get her book on Amazon.

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