Caldo verde, or Portuguese green soup, is what we have been eating for the past two days! It’s a simple and much-loved soup in Portuguese cuisine as well in this household, and perfect for the chilly winter months. The way the vegetarian husband makes it is quite hearty, so if you have a large bowl with some fresh bread, it’s more than enough for a lunch or light supper. This is the vegetarian version, but if you’re not vegetarian, all you have to do is add slices of chorizo sausage, although I don’t think (having tried both versions in Madeira and mainland Portugal) that the latter is really necessary.
Ingredients: (to serve 4)
- 1 litre of water
- 5 large floury potatoes
- spring greens, couve or any other dark greens like kale
- 1 shallot (or small onion), chopped
- 3 or 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 3 or 4 large fresh bay leaves
- ½ tsp smoked pimenton (optional substitute for chorizo)
- olive oil to drizzle
- salt and pepper to taste
What to do next:
Add bay leaves and crushed garlic to saucepan of water and bring to the boil. Add the chopped shallot. Chop each potato into four or five pieces (we left the skins on for texture) and add to the stock.
Wash greens and finely chop leaves and any edible stalks. Add the stalks to the stock. Simmer for 15-20 minutes, then add the leaves.
Once the potatoes have boiled and begun to break up in the soup, remove the bay leaves and add the greens, followed by salt and pepper to taste (this is when the pimenton should be added if you’re going to use it). Simmer for another 2 or 3 minutes, or 5 minutes if you are using kale.
The potatoes can be mashed down a little to thicken the soup more, but it’s nice to have some large lumpy bits. Serve with liberally drizzled olive oil and some crusty bread!