Introduction: Caldo Verde (AKA Peasant Soup)

Picture of Caldo Verde (AKA Peasant Soup)

It's winter time in New England which means it's time to start making soup to shake off the winter cold. I'm a little lazy during the week, so I'm prepping a big pot of soup on a Sunday afternoon so I can have a bowl every night when I come home from work.

Coming from a Portuguese background one of my favorite soups is Caldo Verde, also known as Peasant Soup. It's a delicious soup full of the warm flavors of Portuguese Chourico, garlic, and olive oil. If you like Zuppa Tuscana, you can look at this as the Portuguese version of it.

The best part of it all is that it's called Peasant Soup for a reason. It only costs $5 to make a big pot of soup, yielding 12 portions. That's only $0.41 a serving! Campbell's ain't got nothing on me, yo!

Step 1: Ingredients

Picture of Ingredients

I bought 1 pound of chourico at the grocery store but only used 1/2 a pound of it. I wish I had a real Portuguese meat market around me to get authentic chunky chourico but the grocery store stuff will do. (This is different the Mexican/Spanish chorizo. I don't know how well it would substitute, but if you try it please let me know how it turns out)

  • About 2 pounds of potatoes (I used Russets but growing up my mom always used whatever was cheapest)
  • 1/2 pound of kale
  • A couple cloves of garlic
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube (not pictured)

Step 2: Chop Everything

Picture of Chop Everything

This soup goes quick so I would recommend prepping all your ingredients first. Cut your chourico into coins, the potatoes into cubes, and chop up the kale (mine came pre-chopped and washed since it was on sale). The only other thing you need to do is smash the garlic and peel off the skin.

Step 3: Sautee

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Put your soup pot on a burner and bring it up to medium high heat. Once it's up to temp add a couple tablespoons of olive oil and then toss in your chourico. Sautee the chourico for a couple minutes and make sure to stir it. You're only looking to brown it a little bit and also render out some of it's flavorful oil.

Once it's browned up, remove the chourico from the pot and set it to the side. Now, throw your garlic into the pot and let it flavor the oil. Don't burn the garlic!

Step 4: Deglaze and Potatoes

Picture of Deglaze and Potatoes

Once the garlic has softened a little and flavored the oil, pour in a couple cups of water and deglaze the bottom of the pan. Make sure to scrape up all of those little chunks of flavor!

Once the pan is deglazed you can add your potatoes and fill the pot with water. Bring the pot up to a boil and then let it simmer.

Step 5: Puree

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Once the potatoes have simmered to the point of being fork tender and crumbling it's time to puree the potatoes. I use an immersion blender for this step, but if you don't have one you can blend them in a processor/blender or mash them up -- whatever you do, don't just mash them up with your bare hands- that's not a good time.

Step 6: Finishing It Up

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Add the kale to the pot along with a bouillon cube and let it come back up to a simmer. Let it simmer for about 20 minutes.

Now that the kale is tender, add the chourico back to the pot and let it simmer for 5 more minutes. Taste your broth and season with salt to taste.

Step 7: Serve

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Serve it up! This soup goes great with a nice hunk of crusty bread on the side.

Enjoy and please tell me how you like it!

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Comments

Teresa CatarinaA (author)2016-01-29

Lovely to see our rich Portuguese gastronomia being spread all over. It makes a lot of diference to use Portuguese chouriço!

nd_junk (author)2016-01-25

Sounds delicious! Mexican and Spanish chorizo are two VERY different things! Although either can come in casings, Mexican is raw, while the Spanish type is dried and cured, and is very similiar to Portuguese chourico. Or maybe the same thing: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chorizo

Cheese Queen (author)2016-01-10

This sounds super simple- great peasant dish. I don't think chorizo, which is not a casing style sausage would work well. Maybe an anduoille or another hot or garlicky type sausage.

Ratthus (author)Cheese Queen2016-01-20

The traditional recipe is made with portuguese smoked choriço, its way much better than the andouille, because its smoked with wood and its also drier than other types of sausages, one than can work well also is the polish kielbasa, because of the texture. Cheese Queen, try it, huge difference. :-)

Ratthus (author)Ratthus2016-01-20

Check out the photo. That is the Portuguese chouriço.

Beadlady1242 (author)2016-01-17

This looks great! I have relatives from Fall River, MA....I wonder if the famous Emeril Lagasse has this recipe in his restaurants. He is Portuguese also. I am 50 percent Portuguese but my mother was Irish so we didn't eat too many Portuguese recipes although one favorite was Linguisa and eggs for breakfast, so delicious! Can't find it anywhere.

I MP (author)2016-01-15

When I make caldo verde I use Andouille or smoked in casing chorizo since I have access to Portuguese sausage here in Minnesota. I only puree a portion of the potatoes so there are still small chunks of potato in the soup that way. Since I make my own chicken broth I cook everything in broth, bullion cubes are too high in sodium for me. One of my favorite soups. Some make it will collard greens instead of kale.

MaureenG7 (author)2016-01-15

I loved this soup...2nd time I made it, I added 2 cans of red kidney beans,,,,,yummmm

nanaverm (author)2016-01-06

Beware, Mexican chorizo has cloves or something in it which would give this a weird flavor and copious amounts of bright red grease. Instead, I made this (using leftover turnip greens with onions & chicken broth) but used Jimmy Dean pork sausage instead. Added a little cream like Zuppa Toscana - YUM!

Quaysera (author)2016-01-04

I'll definitely be trying this recipe with chorizo!

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