Caldo Verde
(Green Soup)

Nearly every meal in Portugal includes soup. Consequently, there are many, many types of soups. Caldo Verde is the most common of all. In like manner with Bolinhos de Bacalhau, I am sure that every missionary who ever served in the Portugal Porto Mission has tasted Caldo Verde. Most soups in Portugal have a base of potatos, like Caldo Verde.

A speciality of Minho (North Portugal), caldo verde is served all over Portugal. It calls for couve, a dark green cabbage rarely found beyond the Iberian Peninsula, so you will need to substitute kale or collard greens. If you choose to purchase a dry sausage, you may skip the first step.

Caldo Verde
Click to enlarge
  • ½ lb ( 250 g) linguiça or chouriço
  • ¼ cup (2 fl oz/60ml) olive oil, plus 4 teaspoons
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 potatoes, about 1 lb (500 g) total weight, peeled and cut into slices ¼ inch (6 mm) thick
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 6 cups (48 fl oz/1.5 l) water
  • 2 teaspoons salt, plus salt to taste
  • ¾ lb (375 g) kale or collard greens, tough stems removed and very finely shredded

If using fresh sausages, preheat an oven to 375 F (190 C). Prick with a fork and placeon a baking sheet. Bake until firm, about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven, let cool slightly, then slice 1/4 inch (6mm) thick; set aside.

In a large saucepan over medium heat, warm the ¼ cup (2 fl oz/60ml) olive oil. Add the onion and sauté until tender, about 8 minutes. Add the potatoes and garlic and sauté for a few minutes, stirring often. Add the water and the 2 teaspoons salt, cover, reduce
the heat to low, and simmer until the potatoes are very soft, about 20 minutes.

Mash the potatoes to a purée with a wooden spoon or potato masher. Add the sausage and cook over low heat for 5 minutes longer to warm through. Add the greens, stir well, and simmer, uncovered, for 3-5 minutes. Do not over cook. The greens should stay bright green and slightly crunchy. Season with salt and pepper.

Ladel the soup into bowls, drizzle each serving with 1 teaspoon olive oil, and serve at once.

Source, Savoring Spain & Portugal by Joyce Goldstein, page 94.