Caldo Verde: Portuguese-Style Kale and Potato Soup Recipe

Finely slice kale give kale and potato soup its distinctive deep green cover. The Portuguese call it "Caldo Verde" and consider it their national dish.

| October/November 2010

“Green broth” may not sound like the name of world-class soup, but that's just what “caldo verde” is. Considered by many as Portugal’s national dish, this soup gets its green color from finely sliced kale added to the simmering stockpot for a couple minutes just before serving. Kale and potato soup is traditionally prepared with spicy chouriço sausage, but you can substitute another hot sausage or create a lighter dish by omitting the meat.


1/4 cup olive oil
1 large Spanish onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 spicy sausage, sliced
6 medium boiling potatoes, peeled and diced
10 cups water
1 pound kale leaves, stalks removed, julienned very fine
Salt and pepper to taste


In a stockpot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook until soft and translucent. In a frying pan, cook the sausage, slice it, and set aside for later. Add the potatoes to the stockpot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and lower the heat, simmering until the potatoes are almost done, about 15 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and crush some of the potatoes using a potato masher or wooden spoon to thicken the broth. Return the pot to the heat and bring to a boil. Add the greens and simmer for 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, ladle into bowls, and garnish with sausage. Serves 8. 

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