Caldo Verde is a rustic soup originating from the Minho Province in northern Portugal. It is now considered a national dish and is popular all over the world. It is made from Collie-greens which is couvos cabbage.
I’ve wanted to cook Caldo Verde soup for some time so when I saw the recipe in this week’s local newspaper I decided to give it a try.
Luckily the supermarkets in Portugal sell packets of finely shredded cabbage labelled “Sopas Pronto a Cozinhar”, but to be sure this was the correct product, I asked a Portuguese woman who confirmed this would be “perfect”. She also kindly showed me the correct cabbages as an alternative should I decide to prepare it myself – I needed collard greens or kale.
I looked at the packet of neatly shredded cabbage and then at the basic option. No brainer, I plumped for the easy option.
I think the cabbages I’m growing in my garden are collard – mental note to check!
The other key ingredient is chouriço sausage.
Waiting for my turn to be served at the cooked meat counter I studied the various sausage options. Mind blowing! By the ip-dip dog’s do-dah decision-making process I chose one. But as the assistant started to weigh the piece of sausage I chickened out on my decision and asked her if my choice was suitable for sopa caldo verde? She raised her eyebrows by way of a response. No apparently not. She then laughed – I’d selected Piri Piri chouriço sausage! So I let her choose.
Now the moment of truth…
1 Onion (finely chopped)
250g Floury Potatoes (diced)
2 cloves of Garlic (finely chopped)
1 Bay Leaf
80g raw Chouriço Sausage (cut to slices about 1/2cm thick)
250g Shredded Cabbage (collard or kale)
Pre-packed: Sopas Pronto a Cozinha
2 litres of Water
Salt and Pepper
In deep saucepan add 2 tbsp of olive, diced onions, garlic, bay leaf plus a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook gently until onion is transparent.
Add the diced potatoes and half the sliced chouriço sausage and sweat for a further 5 minutes until the chouriço releases its oil. Add another pinch of salt.
Add the water and simmer until the potatoes are tender (about 10-15 minutes). Once cooked use a hand blender to mash the potatoes. This should now form a smooth base for the soup.
While waiting for the potatoes to cook bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Blanch the shredded cabbage for 1 minute. Remove cabbage from pan, strain in colander and quickly cool with cold running water to prevent further cooking. Leave to drain.
In a small frying pan add the remaining sliced chouriço sausage and fry until golden brown.
Add the drained cabbage to the soup base. Simmer for about
5 minutes until the cabbage is tender. Adjust seasoning if necessary.
Serve the soup and add the slices of fried chouriço sausage to each dish.
Add a dash of olive oil and serve with broa (cornbread).
Although the soap looked like a bowl of seaweed, much to my surprise it tasted delicious. I will definitely cook this again!
Other Portuguese recipes you may enjoy:
Bacalhau com Natas (Cod in Cream Sauce)
Courve Roxa Com Cominhos – Red Cabbage with Cumin
Carne de Porco à Alentejana (Pork with Clams)
Folar – Traditional Portuguese Easter Bread