Caldo Verde – Portuguese Green Broth Soup
This recipe is featured in What’s in the name Caldo Verde?
- 1.4 liter (6 cups/about 5 medium) floury white potatoes (such as all-purpose, Yukon Gold, Russet), peeled and cut into medium dice
- 1 small yellow onion, coarsely chopped (about 59 ml/¼ cup)
- 1 garlic clove, whole (optional)
- 15 ml (1 tablespoon) coarse kosher salt or to taste
- 1.2 ml (¼ teaspoon) ground white pepper or to taste (optional)
- 1 bunch (1 to 1 ½ pounds before trimming) fresh collard greens
- 78 ml (1/3 cup) extra-virgin olive oil
- 113 grams (¼ pound) Portuguese chouriço or linguiça sausage, sliced crosswise into .6 cm (¼-inch) coins
1. In a 3.8 liter (4-quart) pot, combine 1.4 liters (6 cups) water with the potatoes, onion, and garlic if using. Cover, place over medium-high heat, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the potatoes are very tender, about 20 to 30 minutes.
2. In the meantime, trim the collard leaves off the thick stems. Stack 3 to 4 leaves on to a cutting board and roll up tightly like a cigar. With a sharp chef knife, slice crosswise in very fine shavings called a chiffonade. The slices should be thin like blades of fescue grass. You may need to cut strands in thirds as they sometimes are long like spaghetti. (Practice makes perfect.) Rinse in a large bowl of cool water and drain well. Set aside.
3. Once the potatoes are well cooked, remove the pot from the stove. Then using a stick immersion blender directly in the pot, puree the contents to a smooth consistency. Return the pot to the stove, bring contents back to a boil. Toss in the salt, pepper and prepared greens. Set side 30 ml (2 tablespoons) of the olive oil and add the remainder to the pot. Stir well and simmer on medium-low for 10 minutes.
4. While the collards are simmering, separately in a small skillet, fry the sausage slices in the remaining 30 ml (2 tablespoons) olive oil. Once the broth is ladled into soup plates, it is typically garnished with a slice of the sausage, and the remaining sausage is served on the side.