Caldo Verde, A Portuguese Kale Soup

Caldo Verde, A Portuguese Kale Soup is a healthy, hearty and delicious tasting dish. While kale has become a trendy green, touted in recent years because of its many health benefits, families in Portugal have eaten this green for hundreds of years. Caldo Verde is served not only as a simple meal at kitchen tables but also at catered weddings held in elegant surroundings and is regarded by many to be the national dish of Portugal.

Caldo Verde, Portuguese Kale Soup
Caldo Verde, Portuguese Kale Soup

As is typical with many traditional dishes, Caldo Verde, which translates to “green broth”, has many variations. In its simplest form, this soup is made with collards which are known as “couve” or kale, potatoes, olive oil, salt and water. In heartier versions, it is cooked with stock and Portuguese sausage such as linguica or chourico. The sausage can be added to the soup or served sliced on the side of the dish.

Caldo Verde, Portuguese Kale Soup

Serves 4

  •  1/2 lb. Portuguese chourico or linguica sausage
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil plus additional 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 to 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 c. cubed potatoes (2 large)
  • 2 c. chicken broth
  • 2 c. water
  • 3/4 tsp. salt or to taste
  • 3/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. or more red pepper flakes
  • 4 c. finely chopped kale (thick stems removed)

Cut the sausage in half and set one half aside. Cut the other half into bite size pieces. In a large pot, heat 1 Tbsp. oil over medium heat and brown the sausage pieces. Remove the sausage with a slotted spoon and reserve. Add the additional 2 Tbsp. of oil to the pot, add the onions and sauté until soft and translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the potatoes, broth, water and seasonings along with the large piece of sausage to the pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until the potatoes are tender.  Remove the large piece of sausage to a plate. When cool enough to handle, cut into 1/4 inch slices and keep warm.  Blend the soup with a stick blender until smooth. If too thick, thin with a little broth or water. Add the chopped kale and the bite size pieces of sausage to the soup and cook until the kale is tender, about 5 to 10 minutes. Be careful not to over cook the kale to retain its bright green color. Taste the soup, adjusting the seasonings, if necessary. Ladle the soup into bowls and place a couple of sausage slices on top and serve.

****

After enjoying this wonderful soup, I can understand why everyone in Portugal loves Caldo Verde and consider it their national dish. A steaming bowl of this flavorful and hearty soup is perfect for a damp or cold day. Adding the fact that this nourishing soup is made with kale, known for being high in fiber, calcium, and antioxidants and low in calories, I could eat this healthy soup every day. It is a complete meal in a bowl. The only thing you need is a piece of crusty bread to wipe the bowl clean.

While I made this soup with sausage and chicken broth, Caldo Verde can easily be prepared as a vegetarian, vegan or gluten free soup by making easy adjustments. Enjoy!

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241 thoughts on “Caldo Verde, A Portuguese Kale Soup

  1. Not that keen on Kale … but that soup plate I think would do me only good .. now for lunch. So I bookmark it .. in case I will change my mind. Had Kale from Christmas … and it wasn’t that bad, with loads of cream in. Maybe I should rethink the Kale-thing.

    1. Hi Viveka, I’m happy to know that you bookmarked the soup even though kale is not your favorite vegetable. I have a feeling that you are going to enjoy the caldo verde. 🙂

      1. I will give it a try – the thing is when making soup like that – and dining alone … most of the time, I had to eat it for days, because of the amount of kale I have to buy. Promise I will try it.

      2. I know what you mean about the quantity of greens you have to buy sometimes when cooking for one or two people. I sometimes ask the produce people if it is possible for them to split a bundle and more times than not they will gladly do it.

      3. I wish I had a market as such – because there they will split – but not supermarkets, they have start doing it with Italian parsley, we help ourselves to what we want. Great idea.
        Going to check on the farmers market on when that is on – but I never seen it. My friend likes kale, so maybe I can split with her.

    1. Hi Judy, I couldn’t agree more. With fresh snow on the ground and more coming along with frigid temps, we need warm and hearty meals. Thank you for your nice compliment, I’m glad you like the soup.

    1. Hi David, This soup is perfect for the weather we’ve got right now. With the Portuguese sausage, it is a hearty and comforting meal. Thank you for your nice comment.

    1. Hi Famished, Kale is a popular green right now and using it in this soup is a nice way to enjoy it. You are right, it is delicious. Thank you for your visit and compliment. 🙂

    1. Hi Monique, The Portuguese sausage does add lots of flavor to this dish. When my husband loves a soup that is filled with a green vegetable, you know it is good. 🙂

    1. Oh Karen, I’m so sorry to hear that you are battling the flu…so many people have it this year. Wish I could send some of this soup your way but instead I’ll send my wishes for you to get better soon. Take care. 🙂

    1. Thank you for your nice compliment, Gintare. I have to agree with you…we have lots of snow on the ground with more coming and this is the kind of meal I enjoy during the cold winter.

    1. Hi Grace, It is nice having a dish that is not only delicious but it healthy for you as well. The caldo verde is perfect on a cold day…hearty and warming.

    1. Hi Judy, The caldo verde soup was delicious. I like the addition of a little red pepper…it gives a little extra oomph to the dish. 🙂 Thank you for your nice compliment.

    1. Hi Marigene, New England has a lot of people that have a Portuguese heritage. What is nice is that it enables me to buy a nice quality sausage. I’m glad you like the recipe…thank you.

    1. Thank you Naomi, for planning on making the soup…I hope you will enjoy it as much as my husband and I did. I’m sorry to say that I am not technically savvy enough to help you out with just being about to print only the recipe…wish I was. 🙂

  2. I love soups made with dark green, and they’re always better if potato is involved. Add sausage? You’ve got a dish fit for company! I’d definitely be in the “more” category when it comes to the red pepper measurement! This is excellent — thanks.

    1. Thank you for your nice compliment, John. I tend to agree with you that this soup would be nice to serve company. Oh yes…as you can see in the photo, I sprinkled more red pepper flakes on mine too. 🙂

    1. Hi Prudy, I’m happy to know that you will be trying the caldo verde. It is really delicious…I hope you will enjoy it as much as my husband and I did.

    1. Hi Sam, If my husband is any indication as to whether Meakin will enjoy the soup, I believe he will like it. I made a really big pot of the soup and my husband had two bowls both times we had it. Good luck getting him to eat his greens. 🙂

  3. One of my goals is to eat more greens this winter. This sounds perfect. I will be making caldo verde very soon. I like the potatoes in the soup instead of white beans. I usually mix kale with white beans and sausage. Thanks Karen.

    1. Hi Penny, Thank you for your nice compliment, I’m glad you like the recipe for caldo verde…it is a delicious soup. I’m like you, so many of my soups are based around beans but this one with potatoes is terrific. I hope you will enjoy this recipe.

    1. Thank you Jasline, for your nice compliment. I’m happy to know that you like the recipe. I believe that the vegetable that I used is similar to Kai Lan that your might be able to find. I think that any sturdy green such as the tops of bok choy would be good in this recipe. 🙂

  4. I thought winter had disappeared for good in my neck of the woods, as it’s been nearing 60 for almost a week. But today I woke up to freezing fog, and a beautiful warm soup on my reader board. This soup is going on my bucket list to make soon, thank you Karen!

    1. Hi Kathryn, Yes we were lulled into thinking that temps above freezing felt like spring but it was a cruel trick by nature I think. 🙂 We got 8 inches of snow on Saturday and we may get another 8 inches Tuesday night. Warming soup is definitely much appreciated during the winter. I’m happy you are adding this soup to your bucket list. Thank you so much!

    1. Hi Larry, I can assure you that the soup is as good as it looks. Between the diced sausage in the soup and the sausage garnish, it is very flavorful.

  5. Perfect for this time of year and it reminds me of the local dish in Galicia (north of Portugal in Spain), where I grew up. We call it Caldo Gallego (Galician broth). We also share the language, as we used to be part of the same kingdom hundreds of years ago.

    1. Hi Fatima, I have to agree with you that this is a great soup for this time of the year. I love Caldo Gallego and was tempted to make it but decided to make the Portuguese recipe because I had a nice Portuguese chourisco sausage. Thank you for your nice compliment.

    1. Hi Norma, This is a very flavorful soup, I hope you will enjoy it. I had broth and kale in my freezer as well. Thank you for your nice comment as always.

    1. Thank you Chris, I’m happy to know that you like recipe for the caldo verde. I think it is as delicious as it looks and hope you will enjoy the soup. 🙂

  6. Absolutely gorgeous – we have lots of similar soups in Spain but this one is so very specially Portuguese. And I love Kale so will be making it as soon as the farmer’s market rolls round on Friday!

    1. Hi Darryl, Thank you for your nice compliment. I’m glad you like the recipe and photo. It seems our tastes are very similar…I too enjoy posole and make both a red and green version. 🙂

    1. Hi Afra, Your comment made me smile. If you closed your eyes while savoring a spoonful of this soup, it might take you to Portugal. Thank you for your lovely compliment.

  7. Yum. LOVE a green soup with sausage. A marriage made in heaven! I’ve pinned this to try later (thinking I can blend the soup smooth for my boys). I’m Dutch and grew up with thick Pea Soup and rookwurst sausage. Mmmm.

    1. Hi Sas, I’m happy to know that you like the soup…thank you for the pin and nice compliment. I hope you will enjoy the dish when you make it. Pea soup is a favorite in our home as well. 🙂

    1. Hi Sarah, When the weather is cold, I don’t think you can do much better than a warming bowl of soup. Thank you for your nice compliment, I’m glad to know you like the recipe.

    1. Hi Lindy, I’m glad that you enjoyed the photo of caldo verde and it has inspired you to try kale in this soup. I hope you will enjoy it as much as my husband and I did. I appreciate your nice comment…thank you.

  8. Wonderful presentation Karen. I love kale in soups because it stands up and maintains its texture throughout the cooking process. The sausage sounds wonderful in this soup too. Is Portuguese sausage mild or spicy? I would definitely go for the spicier variety. I love how the potato is more of a thickener, it does indeed look hearty enough to be a meal, just add some delicious crusty bread. Would the Portuguese ever add cheese to it, something like Parmesan would be gorgeous in it.

    1. Thank you for your compliment, Eva…I’m happy to know that you enjoyed the post. The Portuguese chourico that I used is very well seasoned but not spicy with heat. As to adding Parmesan, it would change the flavor but certainly be delicious. 🙂

  9. I think you’ve made this soup company-worthy by the manner in which you plated it. It’s beautiful! I’ve been eating more greens recently, but my mother reminded me that it was rather common to eat all manner of greens growing up in her traditional Sicilian household (especially in soups). The linguica sausage sounds wonderful and though I’m certain I’ve eaten it at Portuguese restaurants, I’ve never prepared/cooked with it at home. You’re also reminding me I need to replace my trusty stick blender that finally perished after a good 12 years together. Thank you for sharing your wonderful soup recipe with us.

    Warmly,
    Allison

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Allison. I do think you might be right…I believe guests would enjoy this soup. I really like the Portuguese sausage, it is well seasoned and not too fatty. Kale, escarole, spinach, and dandelions do show up in lots of dishes…the Mediterranean diet is indeed a healthy way to eat.

  10. Caldo verde is one of my all-time favorite soups and yours looks wonderful and warming! What a fantastic idea to blend it before adding the kale and the chorizo. I was wondering how you got it to look so creamy!

    1. Hi Daisy, I’m glad that you like caldo verde as much as I do. I know the sound would be good without blending it but I like the creaminess that the blending creates. Thank you for your nice compliment.

  11. This looks so good, Karen! I’m delighted to find some spices in it, for when I lived in Portugal I didn’t eat a single dish that was seasoned with anything more than salt and pepper. 🙂 This looks wonderful. 🙂

  12. To be honest, I haven’t tried soup version of kale but this Portuguese soup looks amazing. And with the sausage on top like that, oh that does it Karen. I’m definitely making your soup. Thanks Karen and I hope you have a wonderful week! 🙂

    1. Hi Ray, I’m glad that you like the caldo verde recipe and are going to make it. I hope you will enjoy the soup as much as I did. Thank you for your nice compliment and have a good week as well.

  13. Karen, you truly have a gift to make every one of your dishes look absolutely beautiful and so appetizing! How can one not like this? I make a similar one but oft without the potatoes, of which I eat little – but of course they do act as a lovely thickening agent! Also the soup will allow one to use all kinds of protein atop really to make a full meal – OK, then it no longer is a proper caldo verde 🙂 !

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Eha. I’m happy that you enjoyed the recipe and photo…the bright green color of this dish does make for a pretty dish. Yes, the potato is a thickening component to this dish but I think it also adds to the overall flavor. I’m sure your soup is delicious as well. 🙂

  14. The only times I’ve had this was in Lisbon. And there it was always made with Savoy cabbage. Always spicy and no meat (at least not in the soup itself). You can imagine the countless regional variations on a theme. Yet, it’s always those plates of soup that I devoured (in one of my favourite cities) that I would love to be able to replicate. Having said that, it’s such a good combination that any version and I would be more than happy with!

    1. Hi Johnny, I’m glad that you are familiar with caldo verde and got to enjoy it during your stay in Lisbon. Yes, it is served with the sliced sausages on the side in many restaurants.

  15. Oh Karen! What a gorgeous bowl of Caldo Verde! I have actually had the pleasure of having this “national” soup of Portugal many times. It is so delicious and yet, I haven’t had it in years. I too will be saving this soup but I will be pinning it, lol…I plan on buying the ingredients and giving it a try as I have never made it myself.

    Thank you so much for the reminder and for sharing…

    1. I’m so happy to know that my post reminded you of how much you enjoy this soup. It really is delicious. Thank you for the pin and your comment…I do appreciate it. 🙂

    1. Hi Madonna, I tend to agree with you about cooked kale. I have used it in place of different greens in several recipes lately. I’m like you about freezing portions for just two people when you have too much soup. It is always nice to have a meal in the freezer. 🙂

    1. Hi Margherita, I’m glad to know that you like the recipe and that it reminds you of your time spent in Portugal. Thank you for stopping by for a visit and your nice compliment.

  16. Now that looks like just the ticket for a great meal this week. I’d never used Kale until I made a soup that’s somewhat similar – always thought it was just a garnish that you were supposed to push off to the side – but it holds up so well in a soup, much more so than spinach.
    Sounds like a Yankee Clipper bearing down on us. We might not get hit with too much snow since it looks like the Cape will get the brunt of it (please?).

    1. Hi Diane, This is a great soup for all the cold we have right now. I really think you will enjoy the caldo verde. We only got a dusting today, thank goodness after Saturday’s storm. I hope you didn’t get too much.

    1. Hi Carol, This is a terrific soup to combat all the cold and snowy weather. We are lucky that we can get good Portuguese sausages here in New England. I’m happy you like the recipe, thank you.

  17. Looks like a wonderful, hearty treat for cold winter days.
    I heard already about this dish from Portuguese friends, but have never tried it.
    Thanks to your recipe ,I will now:)

    1. Thank you for your nice compliment, Daniela. This is a very tasty dish and perfect for cold days. Lucky you for being in Peru and enjoying some warmth. 🙂

    1. Hi Nancy, I was outside a little while ago, 12 above zero but the wind is making it feel much colder. We need all the warming meals that we can get and I believe you would enjoy this one. Thank you for your nice compliment…stay warm. 🙂

    1. Hi Trkingmomoe, Thank you for stopping by to visit. I’m glad that I could supply you with a recipe to use some of the kale in your garden. I hope you enjoy the soup and appreciate your nice comment.

    1. Hi Laura, This certainly has been a cold January. This hearty soup was a perfect meal on a cold winter’s night. Thank you for your nice compliment.

    1. Hi Raymund, It really is nice to have a meal that can not only be tasty but have the added benefit of being healthy. Thank you for your nice compliment.

    1. Hi Jessica, I can see why caldo verde is considered the national dish of Portugal, it is delicious as it looks. I’m glad you like the recipe…thank you!

  18. Hi Karen!

    I was here and saw your lovely soup yesterday but for some reason I’m having issues commenting on wordpress blogs on my desktop. However today I’m using the lap top so we’ll see if this works.

    I have actually had homemade Caldo Verde and it is delicious! Yours looks heavenly! I’m sure it would be a wonderful meal to have anytime but especially today with these cold temperatures.

    Thank you so much for sharing, Karen…

    1. I really appreciate your return Louise, to be able to comment on this post…that is so very kind of you. I’m so happy to know that you have had caldo verde and like my version. You are right, this is a wonderful meal to chase away the cold of this winter. 🙂

    1. Thank you Donalyn, for your lovely compliment. I totally agree with you about the combination of sausage, kale and potatoes in this soup…it is delicious.

    1. Thank you Selma for taking the time to visit and your nice compliment. I’m happy to know that you enjoyed the post and it has inspired you with a way to use your kale. I hope you will enjoy the recipe. I look forward to your visits. 🙂

  19. I love kale and have just been reading about the health benefits having made Chinese style crispy ‘seaweed’ with it. But your soup looks like a great way to use it, so warming and comforting.

    1. Thank you Andrea, I’m happy that you like my recipe. The soup is like having a whole meal in a bowl and it is a comforting and delicious dish. I hope you enjoy it.

  20. Yum caldo verde. Perfect for this time of year. Lovely photos. Any soup featuring kale, garlic and chorizo is right up my alley. It’s so simple..the national dish..they’re so far ahead of us!

    1. Thank you Amanda, for your lovely compliment. Oh yes…I agree that the combination of flavors is delicious. I can certainly understand why the Portuguese think of this as their national dish.

  21. You just brought memories of my childhood Karen, we used to have this soup quite often when living in Brazil…yours look fabulous, loaded with green…I love it!
    Thanks for the recipe my dear and hope you are having a wonderful week 😀

    1. Thank you Juliana, for your lovely compliment. I’m so happy to know that this post has brought back nice memories of your childhood days in Brazil. I can certainly see why everyone enjoys this dish…it really is delicious. I hope you have a wonderful week as well. 🙂

    1. Hi Suzanne, I think spinach would be a good substitute since you can’t eat kale. You are right about the sausage giving this dish a lot of flavor. Thank you for your nice compliment.

    1. Hi Mandy, I appreciate your nice compliment. I agree with you that soups are good anytime of the year. I enjoy eating corn chowder in the summer when it is fresh. 🙂

  22. Kale really has become quite trendy hasn’t it?! I like it and have a few bunches in my fridge, and since it’s snowing in Denver today, sounds perfect for dinner. I also like potatoes with my green soups, something about the creaminess I think. This is lovely Karen, thank you!

  23. This soup looks great. I could literally eat soup every day during the winter and not get sick of it (of course there are so many varieties!) Love that this is chock full of greens 🙂

    1. Hi Amy, Soup is such an easy meal to prepare and as you say, the variety is endless. It is a perfect way to use up bits and pieces we have in our refrigerators and freezers. 🙂 Thank you for your nice compliment.

  24. Spicy chorizio and healthy kale make for a lovely combination. I love it! I do not know if I could get my kids to eat a soup that has pieces of kale but maybe if I pureed it and told them it was coriander or parsley they be happy as long as they had a bite of spicy chorizio for every healthy bite of kale soup. Soup is a great way to hide vegetables from your kids! LOL

    1. Thank you Bobbie, for your nice compliment. Pureeing the kale with the potatoes is indeed a good way to disguise what the green is…it could be anything green then as far as your kids as concerned. Adding the sausage gets a lot of people to eat their greens. 🙂

    1. Hi Kristi, If your husband is anything like mine, you can definitely get him to eat kale…at least in this soup. 🙂 My husband had seconds the two times we had this soup. Thank you for your nice compliment.

  25. I just received a similar recipe from a good friend. The only thing she does differently is that she massages the kale, it brings out a sweet banana smell and keeps it for being bitter. Your soup looks so comforting! Perfect for these N.E. Arctic temps!

    1. Hi Mary, You are so right about this being a good dish for our very cold weather. I believe it is only necessary to massage kale when you are going to eat it raw in a salad. There was no bitterness in the soup…perhaps it is more to do with the variety and age of the greens themselves. Thank you as always for your nice compliment. Stay warm!

  26. My favorite grocer has kale on sale this week. And since our forecast sounds like the artic air will be lingering, it would be the perfect week to try this. It looks wonderful, Karen!

    1. Thank you Lea Ann, for your nice compliment. I hope you can find Portuguese sausage, it is at all my markets here in New Hampshire. I would think you shouldn’t have too much of a problem getting some.

    1. Thank you Teresa, for your nice compliment. We expect the cold here in New England but this winter has been brutal for everyone. I think we are all looking for hearty soups right now…getting one that has some health benefits is nice. 🙂

  27. OH, yum .. I love kale and didn’t start any plants for the fall!! I’ll not be doing that again … I’ll be starting a good supply of kale soon ..as I love this vegetable. Great soup recipe and I’ll have to try this one .. after I go out and buy some kale!!

    1. Hi Anne-Marie, I’m happy to have you stop by for a visit and I’m glad that you like my recipe for caldo verde. Thank you for your compliment… enjoy the soup!

  28. Hi Karen, this looks lovely! This reminds me a bit of my “use everything” soup, which is great with kale as well as greens from turnips, beets and kohlrabi! The potatoes would give it a bit more body – something I didn’t add into my one. Looks wonderful – I adore “green” soups like this.

    1. Thank you Charles, for your nice compliment…isn’t soup wonderful. You can take ingredients that you happen to have and create the best tasting soups. They comfort and nourish us and are implanted in our memories from the time we are young. 🙂

  29. I love the vibrant color of this soup! We’ve been eating a fair bit of kale since it became popular here recently. I know we’d love this soup, the flavors are wonderful and it’s so healthy too! Isn’t it wonderful that we can try recipes from another part of our world?! xx

  30. Dear Karen, first up a big fat thank you for all your kind and thoughful messages – I really appreciated all of them! Reading them always made me very happy! I was finally allowed to go back home last week and I am slowly gathering some strength and getting my energy back!
    Then onto your wonderful comfort-style soup. Germans eat tons of kale and my grandma used to prepare a kale dish at least once a week while it was in season, so I am quite familiar with the taste and this soup would be perfect these days, as the weather is rather cold these days.
    Thanks again for all your heartfelt concern! – Lieben Dank!
    Have a nice week!
    Andrea

    1. Hi Andrea, It is so nice to see you out and about in the blog world. I hope each day finds you getting your strength back. This is a nurturing and delicious soup that is perfect for cold weather. Thank you for your visit, wish and sweet comment. Take care.

  31. This soup looks and sounds divine. I will try making it. I do love kale. 🙂
    Viveka–You can also use the kale for making Kale Chips (very easy and recipes online–key is getting kale dry before making them–I use a salad spinner and towels). You can season the Kale Chips with spices and nutritional yeast. A healthy snack! I also chiffonade kale and add to salads with other greens or make a kale salad.

    1. Hi Lidia, This is a delicious soup and perfect for the cold weather so many of us are experiencing this winter. Thank you for your nice compliment.

  32. That soup looks fit for a queen. I tried kale once raw in a mixed salad and was surprised I liked it. I don’t think I could eat it by itself but your soup looks wonderful and heart warming.

    1. Gracias Rosita, me alegra que te guste la receta de la sopa. Es como delcious como parece. I appreciate your nice compliment and I’m happy you enjoyed the soup recipe.

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