Classic Caldo Verde Soup
FIRST POST 1-15-2010
Today we’re going on a journey to Portugal were the classic green soup, “Caldo Verde” is probably the most loved and well known soup in the country.
Caldo Verde, originated in the northern Minho region of Portugal and is made with basic ingredients of potato and onion puree, and collard greens. There are many variations to this basic recipe in every Portuguese kitchen where ingredients are added such as red or white beans, ham hocks and meat bones to flavor the broth.
Sometimes Caldo Verde is mistaken for another classic known as “Kale Soup” which is very popular in the New England. The Kale version uses cubed potatoes, chopped chourico, tomatoes, and chopped Kale and looks nothing like Caldo Verde.
This is a very healthy soup because collard greens are considered to be one of the healthiest foods in world since they’re loaded with vitamin.
I learned to make this soup at a Portuguese Restaurant named “The Matador” which my brothers owned for almost 15 years. This soup was made fresh every day and sold out by the dinner rush.
We used hand crank processor imported from Portugal to Chiffonade (translates to “made of rags” in French) to cut the collard greens into thin strips.
10 russet, or Idaho potatoes (peeled & cut into 1 inch slices)
2 large onions
2 cloves garlic
1 large bay leaf
1/4 cup olive oil (or more to taste)
1 tbsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 whole medium Chourico (Portuguese) sausage (rinsed and dried)
6 cups of washed collard greens (sliced very thin)
6 cups chicken or (vegetable broth for vegetarians)
6 cups water
In large soup stock pot, place water, broth, potatoes, onions, garlic, olive oil, and bay leaf. Cook on high for 20 – 30 minutes, or until potatoes are cooked.
Remove from heat, remove bay leaf and puree the soup with hand blender until it turns into a creamy like base. If you find the soup is too thick, add a little boiling water.
Place the pot on medium heat and add the Chourico sausage. Cook for about 10 minutes.
You may cook Chourico in separate pan in boiling water if you don’t want a smokiness taste in the soup.
Remove Chourico and slice into 1/4 inch slices and set aside for garnish.
Add the collard greens and cook on medium heat for about 5 – 10 minutes depending on your preference.
When ready to serve the soup add 3 slices of Chourico into each bowl for garnish. Add a drizzle of olive oil, and crushed pepper to taste.
Add more Chourico if you prefer of course! Enjoy!