Caldo Verde (Portuguese Green Soup)
May 19, 2020
Let me first start by saying that I have never been a soup person. I never crave it, I never order it out in restaurants, I just simply never understood the appeal. My mother (from Scotland) grew up eating soup every day no matter the season! To her, it’s like a massive hug in a bowl. She would make soup for us at home and after putting up a stinking fuss about eating it, I would inevitably always end up enjoying her soup. (Is this just what teenage daughters do?!).
Now that I’m in my 30s, I’ve found a new appreciation for soup. But, like any new addiction, there is a gateway. And my gateway soup of choice is Caldo Verde. My dad (from Portugal) introduced this one to our family and it’s been served in our house for years but I only recently had a craving for it and have made it almost every single week since bring it back into my life!
Caldo Verde is basically a green vegetable soup. Sounds quite boring but the taste is far from that. Typically it includes chorizo, but this vegan version won’t have you thinking twice about needing any meat in it! This recipe is quick, easy, nutritious, oh-so-tasty, and won’t last long in your fridge. Oh, and it converts non-soup lovers so that’s a big win in my book. 🙂
CALDO VERDE RECIPE:
Serving size: ~ 6-8
Prep time: 20 mins Cook time: 45 mins
- 1 bunch of collard greens
- 7-8 Yukon gold potatoes
- 1 white onion
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 1 vegetable bouillon cube
- ~ 5 cups of water (adjust for desired thickness)
- ~ 1 tsp paprika
- ~ 1/2 tsp white pepper
- Salt to taste
- Olive oil
- Finely chop both the onion and garlic and toss in pot on medium heat with a drizzle of olive oil.
- Cook for a few minutes before adding the white pepper and paprika.
- Cut the stalks out from the collard greens. Stack collard greens on top of one another and roll all together (hot dog style). Then slice greens making long strands. Feel free to cut these in half further if they’re too long based on the size of your collard green leaves. Toss this into the pot and coat well with the onion mix – let this cook for about 5 mins.
- Boil the kettle and dilute 1 vegetable bouillon cube (2 cups of water). Add this to the pot along with an additional 2 cups of water – so, 4 cups of water at this point.
- Peel and chop potatoes. Toss into the pot and cover with lid. Let potatoes cook through (about 30-40 mins depending on the size you cut your potatoes). Stir every once in a while.
- Once potatoes are cooked, pull just them out of the soup mix and mash well. If you have lumps, that’s also okay! Gives the soup a little extra texture.
- Pop the mashed potatoes back into the pot and mix through thoroughly. At this point I add 1 last cup of water (to get the consistency/thickness I liked) and left covered for another 5 minutes or so. You can easily make this as thick or thin as you want by just adding/omitting extra water! 🙂
- I like to enjoy this with a slice of garlic toast. Simply toast your bread, poke a garlic clove with a fork and rub all over toast. The garlic will melt right into the toast just like butter (but better, obvs).
I’ve never cooked with collard greens before in my life and only ever knew of them as a part of southern BBQ offerings. Rest assured, they’re delicious and truly complete the dish. If you give this a go, I hope you also receive a ‘hug’ like the one my mother gets from each bowl of soup!
P.S. The bread is fresh sourdough that my husband made. He succumbed to the quarantine baking trend and I’m all here for it!