Caldo Verde (Portuguese Soup with Kale and Chorizo)

There’s nothing like a soup with hearty greens, spicy sausage and comforting potatoes to warm you up in the cold, snowy month of February.  Caldo Verde is a traditional Portuguese soup, considered by many to be Portugal’s national dish.  This hearty yet light soup is made with few ingredients and is traditionally served with Portuguese cornbread for dipping. Add 2 cups of navy beans for extra heartiness if desired.

Caldo Verde (Portuguese Soup with Kale and Chorizo)
Total Time: 30-45 min
Serves 6-8

• 1 tablespoon olive oil, extra to finish
• 8-12 ounces chorizo sausage, thinly sliced (or sub linguica)
• 2 large yellow onions, sliced
• 5 cloves garlic, chopped
• 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
• 1 pound (about 2-3) Idaho potatoes, scrubbed and thinly sliced
• 8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
• 1 bunch kale (about 3/4 – 1 pound), washed, trimmed of the thick stems and thinly sliced (or sub collards/turnip greens/cabbage)
• Salt and black pepper

In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil until it ripples. Add the sausage and cook, stirring frequently, until it browns lightly and is cooked through, about 6 minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove the sausage to a paper towel-lined plate to drain, and reserve.

Add the onions to the chorizo-infused oil in the Dutch oven with a pinch of salt and pepper, and cook, stirring frequently, until onions are softened, about 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic and crushed red pepper and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the potatoes and broth, increase the heat to high, and bring to a gentle boil. Cover and cook until the potatoes have started to soften, about 7 minutes.

Mash half of the potatoes against the side of the pot if you’d like a creamier texture (I didn’t).  Adjust the heat to medium-low and add the greens and cooked sausage, stir to mix, and simmer just until the greens are tender and bright green, about 4 minutes. Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls and drizzle each portion with some olive oil.  Serve with some crusty french bread or Portuguese cornbread for dipping.

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