A recipe: Caldo verde (Portuguese kale soup)

I love soup. Easy to make, comfort food, filling, and with so much potential for getting nutrients in my body. It’s also frugal and easy enough for me to whip up a batch to act as a steady source for lunches to take to work during the week.

Caldo verde is a very tasty soup, so easy to make, and also easy to turn in to your own specialty. I use the recipe from The Joy of Cooking as a base but have modified it for my own needs. Mostly in terms of how much sausage I use. The original recipe calls for six ounces of thinly sliced sausage. Instead, I use a pound or a little more, cut into large sections. This way I get more calories into me in the middle of the day and don’t feel the need to snack as much.

For the broth, you can use all broth. What I have started to do is split the liquid to be half broth and half water. Since I don’t make broth as often as I would like, this way I get the benefits of the nutrients but can get more out of what broth I am able to keep in the freezer.

Caldo Verde, or Portuguese Kale Soup

8 cups of broth (homemade is best) or 4 cups of broth and 4 cups of water. Lately I have been using broth made from goat bones.
1 pound (or a little more) sausage, ideally from grass-fed animals
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
4 medium potatoes
4 cups kale, shredded
Olive oil, butter, or ghee for cooking
salt and pepper to taste
Optional: cayenne pepper. As the traditional recipe calls for spicy sausage (chorizo), you can add some if you like the additional head

Large pot for cooking soup
Slotted spoon
potato masher


1. Chop up onion into small pieces.

2. Head up pot and coat bottom with fat. Saute onions until they are transparent, and add garlic shortly before step 3.

3. Add broth and/or water and bring to boil. Add salt and pepper.

4. Scrub, peel, and slice potatoes thinly.

5. When liquid comes to boil, add potatoes. Lower heat to let the liquid simmer and cook the potatoes until they are soft. (20 minutes)

6. Remove pot from burner and use potato masher to lightly mash the potatoes. (Or, if you are me, forget about this until the kale is in the pot, squeak, and mash then. It’s still good.)

7. (While the potatoes are cooking) Chop the raw sausage into approximately 1.5 inch long chunks.

8. When the potatoes are done, add sausage and let soup simmer for a few minutes to start cooking the sausage.

9. Chop up the kale into small pieces. When this is done, add to the pot and simmer for 5-10 minutes.

10. The soup is done when the sausages are cooked thoroughly.

This soup will store for a week. Happy eating!

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11 responses to “A recipe: Caldo verde (Portuguese kale soup)

  1. The soup looks great – have to try it.

    And…I have a tip for you concerning broth (well, it works for me, anyway). When you make broth, after you strain it, return it to a saucepan/stockpot/whatever and simmer it until it is reduced. A lot. I usually have about 3 quarts that gets reduced about a pint. Then, freeze it in 1/2 cup amounts and reconstitute it (add water) when you use the broth. I do this because I have NO freezer space, but am unwilling to go without broth (and canning it is beyond me). To freeze it, I put it into a muffin tin, sit the whole thing in the freezer (it’s precarious because it balances on top of everything else in there) overnight and then pop the pucks out and put them in a zip top bag for storage in the freezer.

    Hope you can use this- if not, thanks for your patience anyway!

  2. this sounds like a really great recipe, and I know at least one person in my house will really appreciate the sausage! 🙂

  3. This sounds so hearty! I only use kale for smoothies normally. I tried a smoked fish soup once but it reminded me of swamp thing.

    This sounds filling and nourishing.

  4. Thank you for your submission on Nourishing Treasures’ Make Your Own! Monday link-up.

    Check back tomorrow when the new link-up is running to see if you were one of the top 3 featured posts! 🙂

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  8. This sounds so yummy & filling. I’m off white potatoes right now but think it would be just as good with sweet potatoes. Definitely trying this very soon.

    Thanks for sharing this!

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