Caldo verde is many things: simple to make, inexpensive,
nutritious, famously delicious, and beyond comforting. What it isn’t, however,
is Spanish. I learned that after posting a version of this soup 10 years
ago, when I tagged it as “Spanish Cuisine,” and a few very “passionate”
Portuguese viewers let me know, in no uncertain terms, that was not accurate.
This soup hails from the Minho Province in northern
Portugal, and now that the record has been set straight, we can move on to just
how great this simple soup is. This is one of those recipes where you actually hope
for horrible weather, so you can enjoy it in all its soul-warming glory. This is so hearty
and comforting, you’ll almost forget how good it is for you.
I recommend trying to find Portuguese linguica, but like I said in the video, pretty much any cured, spicy, smoked
sausage will work. Andouille would be a great choice, as would a dried chorizo.
As usual, feel free to adapt this as you see fit, but I wouldn’t change the
recommended russet potatoes.
They have the perfect starchiness for
this soup, and produce a wonderfully silky texture. Waxier red potatoes won’t work as well, but, having said that, it’s your soup, so do what you want.
Just don’t call it Spanish. So, whether you wait for some nasty cold, wet
weather or not, I really do hope you give this caldo verde a try soon. Enjoy!
Ingredients for 6 large portions:
1 tablespoon olive oil
12 ounces Linguica sausage
1 onion diced fine, plus a pinch of salt
3 pounds russet potatoes, peeled,
2 teaspoons salt, plus more as needed
2 quarts chicken broth or water
2 pounds kale, trimmed, chopped, washed
pinch of cayenne, optional