Caldo Verde

The last few weeks have been unseasonably warm here weatherwise.  Not hot just lovely, lovely weather.  All that is due to come to an end next week with a return to more seasonal averages.  With that it seems that my mind is already turning to cooler weather.  My garden seems to be thinking the same – today’s harvests were potatoes and kale.

With that harvest Caldo Verde came to mind and consequently that is what we had for dinner last night.  Caldo Verde is a Portuguese soup which is sometimes served with meat, sometimes without.  I generally make it with chorizo, as that is easy to come by – although what is generally sold as chorizo in Australia is a very, very, very distant cousin of what you can get in Spain.  While I make it with chorizo my personal preference is to eat it without the meat – the same can not be said for other members of my household.  Now this version is probably not particularly authentic but it is how I enjoy potato and kale soup.

Caldo Verde

  • 1 kg potatoes (any variety other than salad type potatoes) – cut into a large dice
  • 100g kale – sliced as thinly as you can
  • 2 stalks celery – finely chopped
  • 1 large or 2 medium onions – finely chopped
  • 1 carrot – finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic – finely chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 250g chorizo – chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 1.25 litres stock ( I generally use chicken)
  • 2 tblspns olive oil*

Heat the oil in a large, soup sized saucepan.  Add the chorizo and fry until brown and it has released some of its oil.  Remove from the pan and set aside.  Add the onions, celery and carrots to the pan and fry on a low heat until softened.  Add the garlic and cook for another couple of minutes.  Add the stock, potatoes, and bay leaves.  Cook until the potatoes are completely soft.  Remove the bay leaves, season and puree the soup.  Add the kale.  Cook for a further 5 minutes until the Kale is cooked.  Serve topped with the chorizo.

*If you don’t use any meat you may need slightly more oil.

I’m sharing this recipe as part of the wonderful Gardener of Eden’s Thursday Kitchen Cupboard and Greenish Thumb’s Garden to Table.

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23 Responses to Caldo Verde

  1. Daphne says:

    That sounds delicious. And now I wonder what your chorizo tastes like. Our chorizo is Mexican chorizo. I never thought it might be different than it is in Spain but it probably is.

    • Liz says:

      I’ve never had Mexican chorizo so I can’t compare. Being somewhat veggie oriented I also struggle to describe the flavour of meat. But I will have a go: the Spanish one is strongly pork flavoured with chilli, paprika and spices. It is strong, rich, smoky and fatty – almost certain sure to clog the arteries. In contrast the Australian version is often made with beef and tastes of a factory – something like a cross between a hotdog and a normal sausage with a bit of paprika added but it does have one thing in common with the Spanish version – it is probably equally likely to clog the arteries.

  2. Diana says:

    We still have very warm weather that my cool season plants is suffering a bit like the pea seedlings. Don’t feel like autumn at all more than a week now. Sounds like a good dish you prepare there.

  3. I forgot when I’ve seen such a fresh and beautiful potatoes. And even though we are heading into a warm season in the Nothern hemisphere, I would have some of the caldo verde.

    • Liz says:

      I think its great any time of the year – I am a big fan of soup and do keep eating it through summer (not on the hottest days though…)

  4. Your autumn is better than our spring at the moment!

    • Liz says:

      I feel for you, the climate was the thing I really struggled with living in the UK, we are particularly lucky here.

  5. Robin says:

    This soup sounds wonderful! We love chorizo sausage. It’s difficult for us to find though. We do occasionally order it from Louisiana, which is 1000 miles from here.

    • Liz says:

      I have been to very little of the US but I have been to Louisiana and they do make good sausage down there (and certainly a lot better than they make here). I have to say its one of my absolute favourite soups.

  6. Jody says:

    We’re always, always looking for good kale recipes. This one’s a keeper. Thanks.

  7. We are heading into a warmer weather but I sometimes find a reason to make soup.I have never tasted this Portuguese soup but would love to.

  8. Nina says:

    You still have potatoes? How wonderful! What sort are they?

    This soup sounds delicious though I expect my son wouldn’t be too fond of the chorizo (no pickled produce, no pork products, no salami-type meats – he’s a weird one!). Do you think it would freeze well? I’ll make a batch just for me.

    • Liz says:

      I’m harvesting these at the moment. My daughter got them when she dug for potatoes at the Spudhunters exhibit at the show. Unfortunately I can’t remember what variety they were (nothing familiar). I think this lot was planted in about November/December so quite late and they are just ready for harvest. I don’t know how many more there are under there – I’ve bandicooted a few, but i’m glad of any at this time of the year. I’m trying to grow spuds year round this year and so far its going reasonably well. I think summer is the hardest so all good.

  9. kitsapFG says:

    The spuds and kale look beautiful and the recipe sounds delicious.

  10. leduesorelle says:

    It’s wonderful when the garden gives us perfect pairings for dinner!

  11. Wendy says:

    this sounds fantastic. I do love chorizo. I might try to make the (less exciting) version with some chard and Italian sausage this week. Got your message about the seeds – the next time I send something out that will pass customs, you’ll be first on the list! 🙂

  12. Pingback: Harvest Monday – 16 July 2012 « 500m2 in Sydney

  13. marinda Braga says:

    My dad makes amazing chorizo – He has request from all over for it 🙂 — I made Colde Verde for the first time with his home made Chorizo, OMG it was amazing :)))))))

    • Liz says:

      How lovely to have a dad that makes chorizo – that is just fabulous!!!! Do you think if I leave enough hints mine might start?

  14. Paul says:

    Hi
    Is there a substitute for the chorizo?,I personally do like like,but it is very fatty.
    I often make a chorizo,onion,fennel and other ingredients pasta.this works really well,I do add a lot of extra virgin olive oil.I,m thinking you may be able to use a lean pork sausage and flavour with smoked paprika to cut back the fat content.Your recipe looks great though ,and I do love soups.anyhow great website,as I am a keen vege gardener and home cook,keep up the good work.

    • Liz says:

      Thanks Paul,

      Absolutely you could substitute a different leaner sausage. I sometimes make the soup without any form of sausage at all although I do get complaints from my meat loving family when I do that. I think the pork sausage with a sprinkling of smoked paprika would work really well. You could also try a little lean bacon with or without the paprika or for a veggie version I think some smoked peppers would be delicious.

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