Caldo Verde (Portuguese Potato and Collard Green Soup With Chouriço)

Fresh greens, potatoes, and piquant pork sausage take center stage in this comforting Portuguese classic.

TK
Shredded greens and a few slices of spicy, Portuguese-style chouriço lend flavor and depth to this traditional soup.Katherine Greenwald

Author Kitty Greenwald learned to make this simple, soothing soup from her childhood nanny, a Portuguese woman named Olivia Ferreira.

For the most authentic results, seek out Portuguese-style chouriço which is available online from the domestic brand Michael’s or from Portugalia Marketplace. This sausage is neither as firm nor as cured as Spanish-style chouriço; to ensure that the meat holds together in rounds, Olivia advises slicing the sausage before removing its casing. This sausage contributes a fair amount of salt to the broth; to avoid overseasoning, refrain from adding additional salt until just before serving.

Equipment

Caldo Verde (Portuguese Potato and Collard Green Soup With Chouriço)
Caldo verde—one of Portugal’s most recognizable dishes—is a simple potato soup, enlivened with vibrant slivers of collard greens and slices of spicy chouriço. The simple recipe, from author Katherine Greenwald’s childhood nanny, makes for an easy and soul-soothing weeknight supper.
Yield: serves 8-10
Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. collard greens, thick stems cut away and discarded
  • 4 medium yellow potatoes (2 lb.), peeled and sliced ½-in. thick
  • 2 medium yellow onions (1 lb. 4 oz.), ends trimmed and halved
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 Tbsp. plus ¼ cup olive oil, divided
  • One 5-inch link Portuguese chouriço (6 oz.), sliced into ¼-inch thick rounds
  • Crusty bread or Portuguese rolls, for serving

Instructions

  1. Stack the collard greens atop one another, then roll the leaves into a tight cylinder. Using a sharp knife, very thinly slice the roll crosswise to create fine strands. Rinse and dry the shredded greens, then set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, to a medium pot, add the potatoes, onions, and enough cold water to cover the vegetables by 2 inches. Place the pot over medium-high heat and bring the liquid to a boil. Pour in 2 tablespoons of olive oil, lower the heat to simmer, and cook until the potatoes are tender when poked with a fork and the onion is completely soft, 25-30 minutes. Remove from heat and then, using a handheld blender, puree the vegetables and their cooking liquid until the soup is completely smooth and creamy. Return the soup to a low simmer.
  3. Meanwhile, bring a medium pot of water to a boil over high heat. Place the slivered greens in a colander in the sink. Once the water is boiling, remove from heat and immediately pour it over the greens so that they collapse, soften, and turn a vibrant green. Set the hot, wilted greens aside to steam and drain in the colander for 5 minutes.
  4. Add the chouriço slices to the soup and cook gently until their flavor infuses into the base, 5-10 minutes. Stir in the remaining ¼ cup olive oil and the reserved greens and continue cooking until the greens are tender but still green, 2-3 minutes more. Season to taste with salt just before serving.
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