Vegetarian Caldo Verde

November 16, 2013
3 Ratings
  • Serves 6
Author Notes

This is a vegetarian interpretation of the Portuguese classic--surprisingly flavorful even without the chorizo, and in spite of the humble list of ingredients. The potatoes add a creamy comfort that's welcome on a chilly fall evening. Here in Northern California there are still a few small, overripe tomatoes lingering on the withered garden vines, and they add a pop of color and burst of sweetness and acidity to the bowl. If you aren't lucky enough to find a decent tomato in your garden in early November, try a few hothouse cherry tomatoes instead. —Ann S

What You'll Need
  • olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 Extra large Yukon gold potatoes, or 5 smaller ones, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 5 1/2 or more cups flavorful broth or water (add a bit more if you like a brothier soup)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 bunch collard greens, stem removed and leaves cut into thin ribbons
  • 4 - 5 small tomatoes, cut into quarters
  • salt
  1. Warm a tablespoon or two of oil in a large soup pot. Add onion and cook until soft, then add garlic and cook for one minute. Do not let the garlic brown.
  2. Add potatoes and broth/water, along with the bay leaves. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer. Cover the pot and cook until potatoes are very tender, about 20 or so minutes.
  3. Remove bay leaves and discard. Ladle 2 or 3 cups of potato cubes from the pot, into a heat-proof bowl. Blend the soup remaining in the pot with an immersion blender until the broth is smooth and creamy with rough chunks of potato here and there. You can use a food processor instead of the immersion blender, but do not over process. Add potato cubes back into the pot.
  4. Bring soup back to a gentle simmer and add the greens and tomatoes, plus 1/2 teaspoon salt or more (depending on whether you are using water, or the saltiness of your broth). Taste the soup to decide how much salt to add. Cook until greens are wilted and tomatoes are barely soft, about 2 - 4 minutes.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Teresa Sousa
    Teresa Sousa
  • Ann S
    Ann S
  • Sara

4 Reviews

Sara May 6, 2014
Delicious soup! I added a bit of smoked paprika to get the smokey chorizo flavour :) One of my childhood favourites.
Teresa S. November 17, 2013
You made a very creative version of our Caldo Verde. In case of vegetarians they can still eat the traditional Caldo Verde, just by not adding the Portuguese chorizo, and instead pour 1 tablespoon good olive oil to the plate.
Ann S. November 17, 2013
Thanks for the suggestion. My version of Caldo Verde is anything but traditional, and I appreciate your understanding my attempt at a vegetarian way of interpreting one of the most fabulous soups on Earth!
Teresa S. November 18, 2013
Delighted to hear you consider caldo verde one of the most fabulous soups. Tomato season ended for us here in Portugal this year, but next year as soon as I get that full developed tomatoes I want to try this version, it seems delicious.