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Caldo Verde - Appetizers
Serve the soup with its classic companion, Portuguese vinho verde, a crisp, crackling white wine

1 1/2 quarts water
1 pound potatoes, peeled
6 ounces chouriço
4 garlic cloves, finely minced
6 ounces kale without thick stems
Portuguese olive oil for drizzling

1. Bring the water to boil in a large, heavy saucepan. Add the potatoes, chourizo, and garlic. Simmer gently for 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft.
2. Remove the chouriço and, when it's cool enough, slice diagonally into very thin slices.
3. With a potato masher, mash the potatoes right in the pan. (They will end up in little chunks.) Boil for 5 minutes.
4. While the potatoes are boiling, shred the kale. Gather some leaves together, roll them up the long way, and then cut the rolls into Fine shreds.
5. Bring the soup to a rolling boil. Add the kale, and cook for 5 minutes, or until it is just tender. Add the chourizo slices, and taste the soup for seasoning. Let simmer very gently over low heat for 5 minutes before serving in soup bowls. Drizzle each bowl with a little Portuguese olive oil.
Note: We think this soup tastes best when it's held for a few hours at room temperature, then gently re-heated.

This classic Portuguese soup, which originated in the northern Minho region but is today served all over Portugal (and Brazil), is simplicity itself. The hardest parts are finding Portuguese chouriço (you can substitute chorizo, the similar Spanish sausage) and finding couve, the type of cabbage used in Portugal (kale is a decent substitute). The key to preparation is the cutting of the cabbage, or kale, into very thin strips, which gives the soup its grassy, green look. You'll be amazed at the amount of flavor you get for so little trouble. Serve the soup with its classic companion, Portuguese vinho verde, a crisp, crackling white wine. Serves 4