Caldo Verde (Portuguese Potato and Kale Soup)

Caldo Verde (Portuguese Potato and Kale Soup)

Literally "green soup," this simple and tasty potato and kale soup is served everywhere in Portugal from the meanest taverns to the fanciest restaurants, and it's a delicious and warming comforter on a cold winter evening served with crusty or Portuguese bread. Much like a potato and leek soup but with the benefits of all the vitamins and minerals that are packed in kale, it's also a great soup to nourish a loved one who's feeling under the weather.

The kick in green soup, when it's desired, usually comes from what most of us would probably consider an unbelievable amount of garlic. In my version, I temper the garlic and substitute instead a little of the fieriness of dried red chillies. And although caldo verde is almost always cooked with Portuguese sausages, we vegetarians don't need to know that, do we?

Caldo VerdeCaldo Verde (Portuguese Potato and Kale Soup)
Recipe by
Cuisine: Portuguese
Published on January 4, 2008

Literally "green soup", caldo verde is a simple, charming and nourishing Portuguese potato and kale soup

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  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 whole dried red chilies
  • 4 large potatoes, diced or sliced
  • 6 cups cold water
  • 1 large bunch kale, chopped finely
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Toss in the onion, garlic and dried red chilies and stir for 3 minutes. Add the potatoes and stir for another 3 minutes.

  • Pour in the water and turn up the heat to bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat again to medium and let the soup boil gently for 20 minutes.

  • Remove the soup from the heat and take out the red chilies temporarily. If a creamier soup is desired, use a hand blender to roughly purée the vegetables, leaving just a few of the potato chunks unblended for taste and texture. Alternately, use a potato masher to mash some of the potatoes into a coarse blend.

  • Put the soup back on the stove and add the chilies back into the pot. Stir in the kale and resume boiling gently for about 10 minutes or until the kale is soft and wilted. Just before serving, stir in the salt and season with ground black pepper.

Makes 4 to 6 servings


Padma said...

Hey Lisa, thanks for your warm message... I guess this is the soup season these days... this looks like one healthy soup, sounds delicious!
Happy & Healthy New Year to you too!

Sara said...

Looks delicious! I like Kale, but I've only ever tried it in a couple of recipes. Thanks for taking part in WCC this month.

Mary needs a cooler name... said...

Sounds like a perfect recipe for the cold winter months; I can't wait to try it.

I found this blog from Limes & Lycopenes. I look forward to exploring more of your recipes!

Laurie Constantino said...

I really like using kale it soup because it holds up so well. Love the pepper, although I'm not sure you used enough garlic...

Esther said...

Just tried this recipe. So simple but delicious.