Caldo Verde Verde

An even greener spin on an already green soup.

Caldo Verde Verde

Caldo verde is a traditional Portuguese soup made from potato, chorizo, garlic, and a bunch of leafy greens, such as kale or chard. In this spin, I include even more greens to the recipe by way of parsley and cilantro to give it just a bit more brightness, complexity, and of course, to make it even greener. March is a great time to get into green!

A few friends and I have been doing what we call "#craftsoup" nights where the host prepares soup and everyone crafts as they eat. The purpose of soup is a meal that's easy for the host and easy to eat while you're crafting. I'm always on the lookout for soups to prepare for these nights that are simple, quick, crowd-pleasing, and a complete meal in themselves (one of the rules of #craftsoup night is the host doesn't make anything beyond soup, though I break that rule often). This meal definitely checks all of these boxes and any soup that includes a pound of green leafy vegetables while tasting rich and satisfying has my vote! Serves 4 as a main course, 6-8 as a side.

The soup can be “veganized” by using sautéed mushrooms instead of the chorizo and replacing butter with olive oil.
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

  • 3 garlic cloves, diced

  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped

  • 4-5 ounces chorizo (I like to use Palacios brand purchased at Berkeley Bowl), sliced 1/4 inch thick

  • 2 cups water

  • 2 cups chicken stock

  • 3-4 Yukon Gold potatoes (about 1.25 pounds total) chopped

  • 2 teaspoons white pepper (preferably freshly ground)

  • Salt to taste

  • 1 pound Red Russian kale (about 1 large bunch), stems discarded and leaves finely sliced

  • 1/2 cup combination of fresh parsley and cilantro, diced (cilantro can be replaced by parsley for the cilantro-haters out there)

Heat the tablespoon of olive oil and butter in a large pot on medium low. Add the garlic, onion and half of the chorizo and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens, about 6 minutes.

Add the water, broth, and potatoes and bring to a boil. Simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.

A great trick for chopping the greens into thin strips is to layer the leaves, roll up, and chop multiple leaves at the same time.

A great trick for chopping the greens into thin strips is to layer the leaves, roll up, and chop multiple leaves at the same time.

Using an immersion blender, purée the soup and add white pepper and salt to taste. Bring the soup to a boil. Add the kale and remaining chorizo (reserving a few pieces of chorizo for garnish) and simmer until the kale is wilted, about 3 minutes. Just before serving, stir in herbs, drizzle with olive oil and garnish with chorizo and herb sprig.

Serve with: Buttermilk cornbread