I eat soup almost every day which is very typical to Croatian culture. Usually just simple, homemade stocks of beef or chicken bones, but every week I will also make something a bit more complex.
I have decided to start a Soup of The Week feature as a result, and to kick that off, is a Portuguese classic -- Caldo Verde.
Portuguese Caldo Verde soup is rustic comfort food made in homes all over the country and there is not just one way to make it.
Many variations exist: Some use kale, others collard greens. Some include beans. Most iterations use either Portuguese Chouriço or Linguiça sausage, both of which are quite garlicky.
My version of caldo verde adds additional garlic flavour through both roasted and fresh garlic.
If you cannot find either Chouriço or Linguiça, feel free to substitute Spanish Chorizo sausage which tends to be more readily available.
I love the addition of spicy sausage in a soup like caldo verde. I like it used liberally and diced into tiny pieces so that it melds into the broth and adds a fatty, savoury element to the broth.
Start with a good stock
Or bone broth. Or whatever you call it. I typically use beef stock from bones that have simmered for over 24 hours. Chicken stock works just as well, it is just a matter of preference.
If you do not have homemade stock ready at all, use store-bought chicken stock or a high-quality bouillion cube in water. Commercial beef stock from shelf-stable cartons is pretty abysmal and I never recommend it.
Roast Your Garlic
Roasting garlic takes an hour. You can use a garlic roaster, or wrap whole heads of garlic in foil. Some methods involve slicing off the tips and drizzling with olive oil, but I find that this does not actually make a difference to the roasted garlic flavour.
After roasting the softened garlic can be squeezed directly out of the tip.
Roasted garlic can be made in larger batches and frozen in ice cube trays for later use.
A big batch of caldo verde can also be frozen and quickly heated up on the stove top when you need a hearty and substantial meal.
Caldo Verde means green broth
Which is owing to the simmered kale that is one of the traditional components of this simple soup. My version adds roasted garlic alongside fresh. I love the depth and earthy sweetness that roasted garlic brings to dishes and this soup is no exception.
You can even take an extra step and roast your potatoes instead of boiling them in the beef or chicken broth.
For the potato variety, use Yukon Gold or other yellow-fleshed types. These work best for soups and chowders.
Have you tried Portuguese Caldo Verde Soup before? Do you have a favourite way to make it?
Let me know in the comments.Print
Portuguese Caldo Verde Soup With Roasted Garlic
A rustic and traditional soup from Portugal. Caldo Verde, meaning "green broth," is rich and satisfying comfort food.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Total Time: 55 minutes
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Soup
- Cuisine: Portugese
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped into small pieces
- 1 head of roasted garlic
- 5 large cloves minced fresh garlic
- 2 lbs of Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 lbs kale, torn into small pieces
- 2 Lires (9ish cups) of good homemade beef or chicken stock
- 1 1/2 lbs of finely diced hard Portuguese Chouriço sausage, Linguiça, or Spanish Chorizo
- Sea Salt & Pepper
- Place a heavy bottomed soup pot over medium heat. Add the olive oil and onions, sauté until translucent.
- Add the FRESH garlic. Sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Add the finely minced sausage and stir until some of the fat from the sausage has rendered and coloured the mixture reddish orange.
- Add the ROASTED garlic and stir, breaking the garlic up with a wooden spoon.
- Next add the potatoes, chopped kale, beef or chicken stock, and a big pinch of sea salt. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes to soften the potatoes and kale.
- Taste, then add salt as needed, and freshly cracked black pepper.
You can substitute swiss chard, collard greens, or mustard greens for the kale.
This soup tastes even better the next day.
Keywords: Portuguese, caldo verde, soup, sausage