In the spirit of sharing healthy recipes, I’d like to share a traditional Portuguese soup called Caldo Verde. Caldo Verde is a green soup that often consists of potatoes, collard greens, olive oil and salt. It is often served with meat, and the broth is cloudy and creamy in texture.
This version is slightly different than the original recipe. I added purple kale and carrots to the soup, and added some chorizo. The chorizo really helps to enhance the flavours in this soup, and also adds a bit of heat. I quite enjoy this combination, and I think my Grandma (or Vovó in Portuguese) would approve of the alterations I made! The broth is just so rustic and delightful tasting! For a vegetarian version, you could completely omit the chorizo, and use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.
For the readers out there who don’t know me very well, I come from a Portuguese background. My Mom’s side of the family is Portuguese. They are from Azores, which is an archipelago composed of nine volcanic islands in Portugal. It is characterized by lots of lush greenery, small villages and bright blue ocean water for as far as the eye can see. I’ve yet to visit the island, but it is on my bucket list places to travel to!
Growing up in a mixed Portuguese/Canadian household, you can bet I grew up eating this traditional soup pretty much all the time. My Vovó would make this soup at almost every family gathering we would attend. It was always slightly different each time I would have it. My grandma would swap out certain ingredients and replace them with other ingredients, but overall the broth of the soup stayed mostly the same. It always turned out delicious, no matter what…
This soup was very comforting to me as a child. It still evokes that same comforting feeling for me now as it did back then. I can remember wondering why the soup was so green. It looked like there were green leaves floating around in it. Let’s face it, any food that is green is generally not considered very appetizing when you’re a kid. But there was something so special, wholesome and irresistible about this soup that I was able to look past all the green leaves and thoroughly enjoy it. I believe the reason for this was because getting to sit down at my Vovó house and eat this soup with Portuguese bread made me feel safe. I felt like I was being taken care of……and that no matter what, everything was going to be okay.
Isn’t it interesting how certain foods provide people with that sense of security and comfort? I have a lot of those kinds of foods in my life, as I am sure you do too. This feeling of safety that comes from eating food is one of the reasons why I started blogging in the first place. Food is one of those things that I know I can always count on to bring me joy and to peak my curiosity.
Caldo Verde Traditional Portuguese Soup
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 chorizo sausages, sliced into chunks
- 8-10 yellow potatoes, peeled and diced
- 1/2 cup onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic diced
- 1/2 cups carrots diced
- 2 cups chicken broth, or vegetable broth
- 2 cups water
- 1 bunch purple kale, de stemmed and sliced thinly
- sea salt and pepper to taste
- Start by peeling and dicing the potatoes. Place into a large stock pot. Add in diced onion, garlic and carrots.
- Add the broth and the water and then place on stove top and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20-25 minutes.
- While soup is simmering, slice the kale and place it in a large bowl of cold water. Set aside.
- Heat a medium skillet with olive oil on medium heat and place chorizo in the skillet.
- Cook for 10 minutes, 5 minutes per each side. Set chorizo aside.
- Using an immersion blender, lightly blend the soup. The consistency of the soup should still have some texture, rather than be completely pureed. It should become creamy and cloudy looking.