Dish of the Week: Caldo Verde

From classic comfort foods to regional standouts and desserts, we'll be sharing a new recipe with you each week. Find other dishes of the week here.

This week, we’re sharing a recipe perfect for a “cold front”: caldo verde.

Caldo verde — or “green” soup or broth — is a traditional Portuguese soup made with potatoes and kale, the latter of which gives the dish its name. Collard greens can also be substituted for the kale, and common additions include onions, garlic and chouriço or linguiça sausage that is cooked separately, then sliced and added to the soup at the end.

Thanks to the use of greens and sausage, it is often compared to Italian wedding soup. However, caldo verde is said to have its origins in the Portuguese province of Minho. Today, it’s a Portuguese treasure, having spread across the nation and to regions of America and Brazil.

This recipe, from Emeril Lagasse, uses thinly sliced chorizo, but feel free to substitute any sausage, like linguiça, Italian sausage or kielbasa.

Portuguese Green Soup (Caldo Verde)

serves 6-8
1/4 cup olive oil (total)
1 cup chopped onion
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
2 cups Idaho potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
2 quarts water
6 ounces chorizo sausage, thinly sliced
Salt and black pepper
1 pound kale, washed, trimmed of the thick stems and thinly sliced


In a medium soup pot, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil, add onions and garlic and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until they turn glassy, being sure not to let them brown. Add potatoes and water. Cover and boil gently over medium heat for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook sausage in a skillet until most of the fat is rendered out. Drain and reserve.

When the potatoes are tender,  use a potato masher to mash them directly in the pot. Add sausage to the soup, and then add the kale. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add the remaining olive oil and season.

Ladle into bowls and serve.
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Brooke Viggiano is a contributing writer who is always looking to share Houston's coolest and tastiest happenings with the Houston Press readers.
Contact: Brooke Viggiano