One-Pot Wonders

Caldo Verde

December 13, 2010
1 Ratings
Photo by Bogre
  • Serves 8 to 12
Author Notes

This is my version of the classic Portuguese soup. It's hearty, flavorful, a snap to prepare, and quite economical--with the exception of the kielbasa and the kale, the ingredients are probably all things you have on hand to begin with. If possible, use homemade chicken broth--not only is it cheaper, less salty, and likely more flavorful than most store-bought varieties, it's also truer to the humble spirit of this soup. —Chris Hagan

Test Kitchen Notes

What a surprisingly flavorful and comforting soup! Pureeing the potatoes with the broth makes a creamy base without any added dairy, and the generous dose of kale and the lemon juice at the end make this more than just your average potato soup. This is the perfect recipe for a chilly night, and Bogre is right about having most of the ingredients on hand. This recipe halves easily, though I recommend adding more kielbasa than called for to balance out the greens. I also accidentally doubled the lemon juice, but it worked out perfectly and cut the richness. —ktchnninja

What You'll Need
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 4 pounds potates, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch chunks (I use 2 pounds each yukon gold and russet)
  • 8 garlic cloves, chopped (if there are any green shoots, remove them)
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (or to taste)
  • 4 quarts chicken broth
  • 1 pound smoked Polish kielbasa or smoked linguica, sliced 1/4-inch thick (Wellshire Farms brand is particularly good)
  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds kale, thick stems removed and leaves torn (2 or 3 bunches, depending on weight. If available, lacinato, a.k.a. dinosaur kale, is particularly nice.)
  • 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Heat the oil in a dutch oven over medium heat until it shimmers. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and translucent and starting to brown. Add the potatoes and cook for about a minute, then add the garlic and pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  2. Add the broth or stock and bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes or longer, until the potatoes are very tender. Then remove from heat and puree in batches in a blender, or directly in the pan using an immersion blender. Return the pureed soup to a simmer.
  3. Meanwhile, brown the kielbasa or linguica in a large skillet. Add the sausage to the simmering soup along with the kale and the parsley. Cook until the kale is quite tender. Remove from heat and stir in the cilantro and lemon juice. Allow to sit for five minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and some crusty bread.

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