Caldo Verde is the most famous soup of Portugal. It’s a creamy potato based soup with Portuguese smoked chouriço and tender kale! Perfect healthy 30 minute meal.
Caldo Verde (Portuguese Kale Soup) Recipe
Caldo Verde is a traditional Portuguese soup that’s so hearty and comforting you’ll forget how good it is for you. It’s perfect for dark rainy days or cold winters with its spicy smoked sausage, creamy potatoes, hearty kale and healthy chicken broth. It’s a one pot meal that’s ready to serve in 30 minutes!
This soup is one of those dishes that’s perfect for lazy rainy days or cold winter days, when you want something hearty and comforting but don’t feel like putting in a lot of work. It’s made with a few budget-friendly and simple ingredients. It takes about 10 minutes of prep work and it’s ready to eat in 30 minutes. Oh, and it’s all made in a single pot, too. And did I mention it’s delicious? It’s SO delicious!
I enjoy a rich creamy soup with all the potatoes being mashed or pureed, but you can leave it chunky by dicing them smaller and leaving them whole or just partially mashing to leave some texture. We like to switch it up in our family and rotate how we make it.
This is one of my dad’s favorite soups so I make it quite often all year round! He just loves the creaminess of the potatoes with a hint of spice and smoky flavor from the sausage.
As some of you may know, I am Portuguese-Canadian. So I was raised on a lot of traditional Portuguese cuisine. This soup being one of them! My vovó (grandma) always made this soup in huge batches. When I’d see her biggest soup pot come out I knew I’d be enjoying this soup for days!
It was not only so delicious because she would make it herself, but she would also use the kale that my vovô (grandpa) proudly grew in his garden every summer. AND he was sure to grow enough that there would be plenty for my vovó to freeze so that we could enjoy this soup throughout the winter!
It’s such a pretty soup to look at too, with its white creaminess from the potatoes, bright green from the kale and deep red from the smoked sausage! In the winter I like to make a big batch and freeze in individual zip-lock freezer bags. The soup reheats great and my dad can enjoy them whenever he wants!
What is Caldo Verde (Portuguese Kale Soup)?
Caldo Verde is a traditional Portuguese soup that is considered the unofficial dish of the country. It’s a creamy potato based soup that has kale (or collard greens) and chouriço. Chouriço is a Portuguese smoked sausage that’s packed with flavor from garlic, hot or mild pepper and red wine.
What is in Caldo Verde (Portuguese Kale Soup)?
This 6 ingredient soup (8 if you count salt and pepper) is the perfect weeknight dinner that comes together in a flash.
Pro-Tip: keep sliced kale and chouriço in the freezer so you can make this soup any day of the week!
- Kale – any variety of kale or collard greens works for this recipe. Traditional Portuguese kale is used which grows on thick stalks but this is not often available in grocery stores outside of Portugal.
- Chicken Broth – homemade or store bought chicken broth can be used.
- Vegetarian/Vegan Swap – use vegetable broth and see chouriço notes below.
- Potatoes – the base of this soup is potatoes. Russet potatoes are my preferred potato to use as they give the soup a nice thick creamy texture. Yukon gold potatoes are great as well.
- Onion and Garlic – the combo of onion and garlic adds the perfect amount of flavor to this soup that pairs perfectly with the spicy and garlicky smoked chouriço.
- Chouriço – if you’ve never had Portuguese chouriço I highly recommend looking for it at your local grocery store or visit a European or Portuguese grocer. It has the most amazing smoky flavor that is out of this world.
- Vegetarian/Vegan Swap – use a plant based smoked sausage such as Field Roast Spicy Mexican Chipotle Sausage
- Salt and Pepper – just a pinch of each finishes off this soup
How to Make Caldo Verde (Portuguese Kale Soup)
Full Printable Recipe at Bottom of Page
Prepare the Soup Base
1 In a large Dutch oven or large pot over medium add olive oil. Sauté the onions and garlic, stirring frequently, until softened but not browned, about 2 minutes, adding olive oil if necessary to keep the mixture loose and moist.
2 Add in broth, potatoes, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and cook until potatoes are fork tender.
Purée the Soup
1 Once potatoes are cooked, mash or purée them until you reach your desired consistency. If the soup is too thick, add in more broth or water to reach desired consistency. Soup will continue to thicken slightly during the rest of the cooking process.
2 Add kale and sliced sausage. Stir to combine. On medium heat, continue cooking until the kale is tender.
Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with fresh crusty bread or Portuguese buns (papo secos) and enjoy!
FAQ’s Caldo Verde (Portuguese Kale Soup)
What does Caldo Verde mean in English?
Caldo Verde translates to ‘green broth’. The soup is also often called ‘Portuguese green soup’. It’s a Portuguese soup made with potatoes, kale/collard greens and sliced chouriço (smoked Portuguese pork sausage).
What is Portuguese chouriço?
It’s a smoked sausage made with pork, wine, garlic, bay leaves, and sweet or hot paprika. Growing up my grandparents made the BEST homemade chouriço!
What is the difference between Portuguese chouriço and Spanish chorizo?
Portuguese chouriço and Mexican/Spanish chorizo are both spiced pork sausages. However, Mexican chorizo is fresh and not fully cooked, and Spanish chorizo is cured. Whereas Portuguese chouriço is smoked. It’s fully cooked and ready to eat. When used in most Portuguese recipes it’s often pan fried, baked, cooked into soups, grilled, or lit on fire for a flaming appetizer!
Where did Caldo Verde originate?
Caldo Verde is a soup that originated in northern Portugal from the Minho Province . It’s not only a traditional national favorite, but also loved in Brazil and other places that have a strong Portuguese community. Caldo Verde is almost always served at all Portuguese celebrations, such as weddings, birthdays, and popular holidays.
Is Caldo Verde considered the national dish of Portugal?
This delicious soup is considered the unofficial national dish of Portugal. It’s served through the entire country, and every family has their own signature recipe. You’ll find this soup in fancy restaurants, at weddings and celebrations and in home kitchens.
Is Caldo Verde good for you?
Caldo Verde is considered a healthy soup. One of its main ingredients, kale or collard greens, are known to be one of the healthiest foods in the world. Kale is full of vitamins, minerals, and very rich in fiber.
Can you freeze Portuguese Caldo Verde?
Yes, Caldo Verde soup freezes well. Once the soup has cooled divide into freezer safe containers or Ziploc bags. I like to divide the soup into individual serving sizes so I can just grab a serving out of the freezer.
To reheat Caldo Verde, thaw the frozen soup in the fridge overnight and then simply add to a pot and heat until warmed through, about 5-10 minutes. Or add the frozen soup to a pot with a splash of water and reheat until thawed and warmed through, about 15-20 minutes.
What to serve with Caldo Verde?
My favorite way to enjoy a bowl of Caldo Verde with Portuguese Buns (papo secos), crusty corn bread or baguette. I also love to have Bifanas (check out my recipe here) the most famous pork sandwich of Portugal, paired with my soup.
Looking for More EASY Portuguese Recipes?
Try some of my families most popular traditional recipes:
- Bifanas – the most famous sandwich in Portugal! You’ll find them anywhere you go with countless variations that are all simply delicious!
- Tomato Seafood Rice – rice loaded with a variety of fresh seafood, tomatoes and vegetables!
- Fried Fish Fillets – one of our most common preparations of fish for family dinners! Tender seasoned fish coated in light and airy batter and fried until golden brown.
Portuguese Dessert Pairings!
Pair your Caldo Verde with a classic Portuguese dessert!
- Cavacas, or Portuguese Popovers – a classic dessert that are similar to cream puffs! Light and airy dough baked until crispy on the outside but soft on the inside. Topped with a decadent lemon icing!
- Pastel de Nata (Custard Tarts) – the most famous and delicious Portuguese Dessert. The creamy custard that caramelizes while baking in a light and flakey pastry crust is a must try!
- Queijadas de Leite (Milk Tarts) – similar to custard tarts but easier to make! These milk tarts do not have a crust, they are a milk custard tart that is creamy on the inside and crispy on the outside.
Disclosure: I only recommend products I would use myself and all opinions expressed here are my own. This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, may earn me a small commission.
Caldo Verde (Portuguese Kale Soup, Portuguese Green Soup)
- 1 tbsp olive oil, or cooking oil of choice
- 1 cup onion, finely diced
- 4 tbsp garlic, minced
- 8 cups chicken broth
- 5 cups potatoes, cubed into 3/4-1 inch pieces, see notes below
- 1 – 2 tbsp salt, or to taste
- 1 tsp pepper, or to taste
- 4 cups kale, tough stems removed, leaves chopped or thinly sliced
- 2 cups Chouriço (Portuguese smoked sausage), sliced ¼ inch thin, for swaps see notes below
- In a large Dutch oven or large pot over medium add olive oil. Sauté the onions and garlic, stirring frequently, until softened but not browned, about 2 minutes, adding olive oil if necessary to keep the mixture loose and moist.
- Add in broth, potatoes, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and cook until potatoes are fork tender.
- Once potatoes are cooked, mash or purée them until you reach your desired consistency. If the soup is too thick, add in more broth or water to reach desired consistency. Soup will continue to thick slightly during the rest of the cooking process.
- Add kale and sliced sausage. Stir to combine. On medium heat, continue cooking until the kale is tender.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with fresh crusty bread or Portuguese buns (papo secos) and enjoy!
- Russet potatoes give the soup a thick, creamy texture when puréed.
- Yukon Gold potatoes hold their shape better to give you nice chunks if you don’t plan on pureeing or fully mashing.
- Swap for Spanish or Mexican chorizo if you cannot find chouriço
- If you don’t eat pork, swap for a smoked chicken or turkey sausage
- Vegetarian/Vegan – see notes below
- Swap the chicken broth for vegetable broth
- Swap the chouriço for a plant based smoked sausage.