Caldo Verde (Portuguese Green Soup)

There is something great about traditional recipes, I find myself searching for “traditional” recipes a lot. I guess its because I just want to know what it originally tasted like before I start mucking about with it. But you know, I never seem to have all the ingredients on hand and I end up mucking about with the recipe anyways. I mean, how did that traditional recipe start out anyways? Some old kitchen with a Mom who used what she had on hand, right?

caldo verde

This is a recipe for one of my favourite soups. Its so easy, and so delicious, it satisfies my meat (sausage) and creamy (potato) cravings, I could eat the whole pot. Traditionally I think they use Linguica or Chouriço sausage, both of which, of course, I didn’t have. I DO have a freezer full of fatty pork sausage seasoned only with salt and pepper. My favourite. So that is what I used and just add spices to it to make it hot. I have even had a situation where I had no sausage at  all, so I just used ground pork and added spices to it! The recipe also calls for kale, which sometimes I have and sometimes I only have spinach, so I’ve used that on numerous occasions as well. I’ve used water to replace the chicken stock as well on some occasions and it was still delicious. This last time that I made it, all I had were baby potatoes from my CSA, I started peeling them and it was just taking forever so I was like, why am I even peeling these, and just chopped them up with the skins on. Use what you’ve got!

Caldo Verde (Portuguese Green Soup)

1 clove of garlic, minced
1 large onion, chopped
3 medium potatoes, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
2 cups of finely chopped kale (or substitute with spinach)
2 links of spicy pork sausage (or just plain sausage, and add your own spices while its cooking – I use about 1 tsp crushed chillies and 1 tbsp hot hungarian paprika)
4 cups chicken stock
2 Tbs. fresh flat-leaf parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
Cook the sausage – taken out of the casing and crumbled. You could also cook whole sausage and cut it into slices, which I think is the traditional way) until browned. Remove from pan and set aside.
In the same pan, saute the chopped onions in olive oil until they’re soft. Add minced garlic and potato pieces; cook for a couple minutes and then add the chicken stock and the reserved sausage. Let this cook for about 20 to 30 minutes, until the potatoes can be broken easily with a fork. Break up the potatoes a bit with a fork or potato masher (my utensil of choice). Add the chopped kale and turn off the heat and wait about 5 min for the kale to cook through a bit.
Season to taste and garnish with fresh parsley. Enjoy it with a good crusty bread!