How to Make Portuguese Green Soup
Caldo verde (“green soup”) is a northern Portuguese dish that is also very popular in Brazil. It is a perfect Springtime dish, being lighter but still satisfying. It gets its name from one of its primary ingredients: collard greens.
Like other dishes such as corn cakes, peanut toffee, and mulled wine, caldo verde is an especial favorite during the Festivas Juninas, also known as the Festas de São João. This Catholic summer festival honors John the Baptist and is also a celebration of Brazilian rural life.
The soup incorporates many flavors reminiscent of the American South: smoked sausage, collard greens, onions, and garlic. While a Southern soup might call for beans or rice, this recipe uses potatoes for a bit of starch. The potatoes act as a naturally thickener and give the soup a satisfying texture.
We will be using smoked Brazilian sausage (also known as linguica calabresa), which has a lightly spiced and garlicky flavor. If you do not have smoked linguica, you can substitute with any smoked sausage. Chorizo and andouille are especially good, since they have a similar taste and texture to the linguica.
You can further customize your soup however you like. Some recipes call for kale in place of collard greens, for example. You could omit the greens entirely, but then it wouldn’t really be a “caldo verde!” If you don’t care for collards or kale, try spinach, Swiss chard, or even bok choi. All have a mild, sweet flavor when they are stewed and lend to the heartiness of this soup.
Brazilian Caldo Verde Recipe (Green Soup)
6 yellow potatoes, such as Yukon Gold
7 Texas de Brazil hickory smoked sausages, sliced
1 large yellow onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 pound collard greens
2-3 tbsp olive oil
8 cups chicken or vegetable stock
Salt and pepper to taste
- Remove the stems from your collard greens and slice it into thin strips. You can do this by stacking a few leaves on top of each other, rolling them up, and then slicing them. This is called a “chiffonade.”
- Heat a large stock pot over medium heat. Add in 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil.
- Add the sausage and cook until evenly browned, about 5 minutes. Remove the sausage and allow it to drain on a plate lined with paper towels.
- Add another drizzle of olive oil to your pot. Put the onions in the pot and cook them until they are softened and translucent, about 2 minutes.
- Add the minced garlic and cook until just fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Add all the potatoes and cover with chicken or vegetable stock. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a medium simmer. Allow to cook until potatoes are fork tender (about 20-25 minutes).
- When the potatoes are cooked, remove half of them and set them aside with the sausages.
- Using an immersion blender, blend the remaining ingredients in the stock pot until they are smooth and fully incorporated.
- Now add the rest of the potatoes, smoked sausage, and collard greens to the pot. Let the greens simmer for a minute or two, until their color brightens and they are slightly softened.
- Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed.
Serve piping hot with a little drizzle of olive oil and some red pepper flakes. Pair your caldo verde with crusty bread or pao de queijo for dipping.
Visit Texas de Brazil for Your Next Night Out
Texas de Brazil has over 50 locations in the US and internationally. Visit your local restaurant for a truly unique and delicious dining experience. Or, bring the taste of churrasco right to your door with one of our beautifully curated grill packages. Go online to order premium lamb, pork, and sausages-and don’t forget to try our new spiced picanha.