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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Caldo Verde - Portuguese Green Soup

Portuguese Green Soup

8 oz linguica sausage (see note below on sausage)
1 T bacon grease
1 med onion diced small, nearly minced
4 Cups cubed potatoes
4 Cups chicken stock more or less (see note below)
2 t minced garlic
6 Cups kale sliced thin (I use my kitchen shears, remove the hard middle spine)
1/2 t ground black pepper
Healthy dash of Italian Seasoning
Healthy dash of red pepper flakes
1 C 2% milk 

In dutch over over medium heat, render sausage in bacon drippings with onion. Remove only the sausage to drain on paper towels. Leave drippings in the pan, add potatoes, garlic, 2 cups of chicken stock bringing to a gentle boil and cook until potatoes are fork tender (about 12-17 minutes). Stir as needed to assure they do not scorch. Turn off heat and fork mash 2/3 of the potatoes right in the pan without draining. Add remaining chicken stock, cooked sausage, pepper, Italian seasoning and red pepper flakes return to a boil, and add the kale simmering gently for 10-17 minutes, until kale is tender. Reduce heat to low, add milk, stir to combine and serve. I do not increase heat after adding the milk it tends to separate. If it seems to thick add more stock.

KEEP READING for a bit of dialogue on the recipe itself with pointers and tips...and I not responsible for errors, I am not a professional; you are taking your life in your own hands following my words. LOL

Waaaaay back when we lived in the Azores, Portugal we love, love, loved green soup. We have such fond memories of living there and someday hope to return on a Space A flight! We'll see! Anyway, one of the things we enjoyed was eating on the economy. It was pretty reasonably priced and the food was really awesome. I don't think we ever missed ordering "green soup" when we ate out. It was something we really, really liked. It never occurred to me to try and make this soup until I had the good fortune of having a Portuguese neighbor when we lived in Italy. She made it for me and told me how easy it was. I told her it was just easier to eat it when she made it for me! When we moved on, I missed that soup! That's when I decided I needed to learn to make it myself. 

I have tried several different recipes before finally loving this one which is really just a compilation of many of the others I have tried minus a few things here and there and additions of a few things here and there! I didn't realize I would blog it or I would have taken more photos! It's a really forgiving soup, so make it your own. We are not big meat eaters but there is something about putting the sausage (can be linguiça, chorizo, kielbasa, Italian whatever you prefer/like) in it that just makes it so much more flavorful that I kind of miss it when I don't use it. So we definitely prefer it with! 

And on the chicken stock, I use powered chicken stock with water. If you haven't tried this or don't use this, it is a lovely addition to any kitchen. I much prefer it to those bouillon cubes! The powder in the Hispanic markets (or that section of your favorite grocery store) is cheapest and the most flavorful in my opinion! It comes in a jar and keeps for a long time. A jar last me 3-4 months. They have it in beef and tomato too! I also use a little more then the directions say on the ratio to water because we like it rich and flavorful. AND and this is a BIG and so please don't miss it...the measurements in the recipe below are really loose in respect to the chicken stock since I don't measure anymore and I am going on memory. You may need more chicken stock to cook your potatoes, don't be afraid to add, just add more chicken stock flavoring to match whatever amount of water you add withing reason!  I just put the potatoes in and then add water to cover them and dump in the stock powder!

Oh and lastly, I buy my kale in the bag; it is cheaper and already chopped up! You will need to remove the tough spine though. It's good in salads, on pizza or just steamed alone. And you could even make kale chips! I did and blogged about it here! They are tasty, I have heard you can do it in the microwave too, but I've read mixed reviews so haven't given it a try yet! I can get a huge bag of kale for less then 3 bucks at the commissary, you can't beat that!



  1. In Portugal we use Olive oil instead of bacon fat. But YUMMM, Who doesn't like bacon fat!!! and off course we use Portuguese instead of Italian seasoning ;-)
    I wish I was there to share it with you Betty!! Did you have bread with it, and off course red wine??
    ME, aka "your Portuguese neighbor in Italy"

  2. Look at you going all Portuguese! Very neat! That's the lovely and lamentable part of living in foreign places. We get to know wonderful tastes and recipes but getting the same flabor again is so very hard with US produce/products. So I am happy to see that you've persevered and found a decent replica for your Green soup! Go Girl!

    1. Ahhh, nice to hear from you!!!! Miss you!