This Caldo Verde recipe is seriously the most delicious soup of all! It’s made with only 5 easy to find ingredients and peeling potatoes is as hard as this gets. This Portuguese green soup hits the spot and brings you all the warmth and comfort you need on a cool night. It’s comfort food at it’s very best!
About this Caldo Verde recipe
Portuguese Green Soup, or as we call it in Portuguese, Caldo Verde, is a smoky and hearty soup traditionally made with smoked sausage, potatoes and collard greens.
Caldo Verde, although extremely popular in Brazil, is actually a traditional Portuguese soup, from northern Portugal.
This dish is a must-have item on any menu during Festas de São João. This marks the birth the Saint John the Baptist, which is celebrated in both Brazil and Portugal.
This custom was introduced to us by the Portuguese during colonial times. For Catholic Brazilians, this is an opportunity to give thanks to St. John and other saints, as well as celebrate rural life through food, clothing and music.
I truly miss going to Festas de São João… the neighborhood getting together, the costumes, the music and dancing, and of course, all the amazing food. And eating my mom’s caldo verde recipe is one way to feel better about it.
Needless to say, this soup has a very special place in my heart! I love enjoying it with tons of Portuguese olive oil on top and fresh crusty bread — it’s comfort food to me.
Caldo Verde is a tribute to my childhood and that of every other Brazilian I know, and every spoonful is a gift, packed with delicious flavors, and the fondest memories.
I hope you love it as much as I do!
Caldo Verde Ingredients
All you need to make this Caldo Verde recipe are these 5 easy to find, simple ingredients, plus some olive oil and a little bread, if you’d like, for serving.
- Garlic — or Brazilian sofrito.
- Onion — white or yellow onion work great in this recipe.
- Potatoes — yellow or gold potatoes are my favorite. Be sure to peel them and evenly dice them, too!
- Smoked pork sausage — in Brazil, we use a specific kind of smoked pork sausage, called linguiça calabresa, which you can find at Brazilian or Portuguese markets. Alternatively, you can substitute with Portuguese chorizo or with any smoked pork sausage you can find at the grocery store.
- Collard greens — I never replace this, but some people also use kale.
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Here are the tools you’ll need to make this soup:
- Sharp knife and cutting board
- Vegetable peeler
- Liquid measuring cup
- Large pot or stockpot
- Immersion blender (or a regular blender, if this is unavailable)
How to make Caldo Verde Portuguese Green Soup
Heat up some olive oil in a large stock pot, and saute the onions until they are soft.
Then, add the sausage and let it brown, stirring occasionally. After it browns add the garlic and give it a little stir.
Remove the sausage from the pan and set aside.
Then, add the potatoes to the pan.
Cover the potatoes with water (make sure the water is no more than an inch or an inch and half over the potatoes), turn on the heat and let it cook until the potatoes are soft.
When the potatoes are soft, use a slotted spoon to remove some of the potatoes from the pot, and set them aside with the sausage.
Use an immersion blender to blend the remaining potatoes in the pot with the water they were cooked in. Alternatively, you can just smash some of the potatoes in the pot with a spoon or a potato masher.
The goal is to have some potato chunks, and some creaminess, but not too much.
We’re looking for a velvety, luscious liquid, as opposed to a thick soup.
Add the sausage and the potatoes back to the pot and turn off the heat. Season with salt and pepper, too.
Finally, add the collard greens.
See how they’re thinly sliced? THIS is the best way to do it.
And we’re done!
The collards don’t need to cook down, they just just needs to wilt. We want them bright green and to have a bite to them, as opposed to cooking them to a mush.
Ladle the hot soup into bowls and drizzle with some good olive oil.
Eat it with crusty bread for some extra crunch!
Frequently Asked Questions
Store in airtight container in the fridge for 5 or so days…
You can, but I’d rather you not. Freezing cooked potatoes changes their texture, but that’s a personal preference…
Tips and tricks to the best caldo verde:
- Use the right ingredients and prepare them properly! Dice your potatoes evenly so they cook evenly. Slice the collards into ribbons so their texture is right in the final soup.
- No need for chicken stock or broth—the flavors come from the sausage, which is why we sautee them first and cook the potatoes in the same pot so they retain the flavors.
- Season to taste. Give the soup a taste before adding the collards and add salt and pepper, as necessary.
- Serve with olive oil and crusty bread. This is a total comfort food move!
More collard greens recipes:
- Collard Greens Pasta
- Couve a Mineira – Brazilian Collard Greens with Bacon
- Cheesy Collard Greens Dip
You may also like these other soup recipes:
- Hearts of Palm Soup
- Canja de Galinha – Brazilian Chicken and Rice Soup
- Sopa de Letrinha – Alphabet Soup Recipe
- Brazilian Bean and Pasta Soup – Sopa de Feijão com Macarrão
- Creamy Black Bean Soup
- Red Lentil Soup with Coconut Milk
- Brazilian Sweet Corn Chowder Recipe
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Caldo Verde Recipe – Portuguese Green Soup
- 3 lbs of yellow potatoes peeled and diced into about an inch cubes
- 1 13oz Smoked sausage sliced
- 1 onion, diced about a cup
- 1 tablespoons Brazilian sofrito or 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1-2 bunches of collard greens stemmed and cut thin
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 Tbsp of olive oil plus more to serve
- On stovetop, heat up a 5.5 quart pan or large stock pot over medium to high heat and add the 2 Tbsp of olive oil.
- Add the onions, and cook until transparent, about 2 mins.
- Add the sausage, and cook until lightly browned, 5 mins.
- Add the garlic, and cook until fragrant, about 2 mins.
- Remove the sausage from the pan and set aside in a bowl.
- Add the potatoes to the stock pot, season with salt and cover with water (about 7 cups). Let it cook until potatoes are soft.
- When the potatoes are fully cooked, remove half of the potatoes from the pot and set them aside with the sausage.
- Return the sausage and and the potatoes to the stock pot, season with salt and pepper, stir.
- Add the collard greens, stir.
- Drizzle with olive oil and serve with bread.