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Caldo Verde

Caldo Verde

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.

SKU 482-Recipe

  • 4 Serves


  • 1 pound salt cod
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 large garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 1/2 pounds potatoes, peeled
  • 1 quart non-salty chicken stock
  • 2 cups water
  • 6 ounces kale without thick stems
  • Portuguese olive oil for drizzling


  1. Soak the salt cod in a bowl of water in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days. Change the water several times a day.
  2. When ready to make soup, drain and dry off the salt cod. Place the 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large, heavy saucepan over moderately high heat. Add the garlic and half of the salt cod. Sautè until the garlic starts to brown, about 5 minutes. Immediately add the potatoes, chicken stock, and water. Simmer gently for 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft.
  3. With a potato masher, mash the potatoes and the cooked salt cod right in the pan. (They will end up in little chunks.) Boil for 5 minutes.
  4. While the potatoes and cod are boiling, shred the kale. Gather some leaves together, roll them up the long way, and then cut the rolls into fine shreds.
  5. Add the kale to the soup, along with the remaining salt cod cut into 1/2-inch pieces. Simmer for 5 minutes, or until the kale is just tender. Taste the soup for seasoning before serving in soup bowls. Drizzle each bowl with a little Portuguese olive oil.