Thursday 28 September 2017

Caldo verde – a soup to welcome Autumn

I was initially going to do only two posts on my trip to Portugal but I decided to go for one more. Autumn seems to have arrived and with it comes the craving for warming and nourishing food. A Portuguese staple is the perfect answer: Caldo Verde. This is a soup made with few ingredients. In most taverns around the country you will find they add chorizo, sausage or bacon. You can make a meat-free version, equally delicious and nutritious, by adding some shaved parmesan cheese or any other cheese of your choice and croutouns. 

Even though we were in Alentejo at the peak of Summer we couldn’t resist “diving” into a bowl of this traditional Caldo. The Portuguese are masters in creating wholesome and cheap dishes using simple ingredients. It’s a cuisine full of Umami.

Back in my kitchen

Start sauteeing onions, garlic and potatoes.
Add water or stock.
After blending the cooked potatoes, add the greens.

My caldo verde!

Caldo Verde


Organic extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium size onion – finely chopped
2 garlic cloves – finely chopped

500g potatoes, diced
200g frozen collard greens (I get mine from Portuguese delis).

1200ml water or vegetable stock
2 chorizo sausages – optional, sliced
*A handful of croutons

*I made some croutons with 3 slices of sourdough bread. In a pan, I melted a dollop of organic butter with good quality extra-virgin olive oil, added some smoked paprika and sea salt. Then, I brushed the mixture on both sides of the toasts, cut them into small squares and placed them on a baking sheet. Bake at 175C for about 15 minutes or until browned.


Heat some olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Fry the onion and garlic until they begin to soften.  Add the diced potatoes, season. Cook for about 5 minutes. Add 1.25 litres water and let it simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft.
Using a hand blender, mash the potatoes to produce a smooth purée. Add the greens and simmer for about 5 minutes.

If using chorizo sausage, fry the pieces until crispy or add them in the soup after blending it and before adding the greens. Place them on kitchen paper to drain the excess fat. Cut into small squares. Reserve.

Serve the soup in bowls with the pieces of chorizo (if using) and croutons. If using only croutouns, shave some parmesan and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil on top.

Bom apetite!

A healthy note:
Collard Greens (Brassica Oleracea) are great source of fibre, chlorophyll, folic acid, calcium, vitamin C, vitamin K and iron. White potatoes (Solanum tuberosum): is mildly diuretic, lubricates the intestines, tones the pancreas. Potato reduces inflammation, relieving arthritis and rheumatism. It is a good source of vitamin C, minerals and enzymes. It is a great accompaniment to meat, as its rich potassium content balances out the high sodium content of the meat. 

Till next week!

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