Caldo Verde Recipe

Caldo Verde means green broth/soup.

Now this is an extremely traditional Portuguese recipe.  It is normally served at Portuguese celebrations like weddings, feasts, parties and family events. When a venue states they make this soup, but they don’t use chorizo sausage it may cause scandalous gossip for years to come in the community.  Don’t NOT serve chorizo.  If you don’t have chorizo, DON’T MAKE IT!

Many non Portuguese people may think that Caldo Verde doesn’t look that appetising or delicious at all, and some people may not enjoy it.  But generally, people who try it, love it.  It’s a light soup packed with flavour, even though it’s a dish with minimal ingredients.

The older I get, the more I appreciate, and gravitate closer to my adoration of Portuguese cuisine.  It’s plain REAL food. Try it out for yourself, and let me know what you think.  It’s different for a non Portuguese person, but feels like home in a bowl for my fellow Portuguese people.  And believe me, the Maria’s reading this recipe, will obviously have their own way of making it, but at the end of the day, all the Caldo Verdes taste the same.


  • 1 large onion, sliced or diced
  • 1 teaspoon crushed garlic
  • olive oil
  • 6 large potatoes/8 medium-sized potatoes
  • 1,5 – 2 litres water
  • salt
  • large bag of spinach/kale/dark leafy green cabbage
  • 200 grams chorizo
  • paprika


  1. In a larger pot, generously drizzle olive oil, and fry the onion and garlic until soft and translucent.  Don’t let it brown at all.  (±3-5 minutes).  Season with salt.
  2. Slice the potatoes into thin slices and add it to the onion and garlic mix.  Remember to prevent it from browning.
  3. Pour in the water and allow to boil on medium heat for about 20 minutes until the potato feels mushy.
  4. Wash and roughly chop the spinach and add it to the pot, allow to boil for another 10 minutes.
  5. While the soup is on the go, slice the chorizo in thin slices and fry in a separate pan sprinkled with some paprika until all the oils escape and infuse with the paprika.  Switch the heat off. Some people don’t use salt, as the chorizo releases a lot of oil when heated.  But I add a dash of olive oil for extra flavour.
  6. Using a blender, blend the soup so that the potatoes and spinach start forming the soup into a thicker consistency, but don’t over blend into a purée.  If it’s starting to look like a purée, you’ve gone too far.  Bits and pieces of the spinach and potato should be visible.  Taste and add salt if needed.
  7. Now add the chorizo and the oils from the chorizo pan for extra flavour.
  8. Taste and season with salt. Yes, season with salt again……



No this is not a thick, creamy soup.  It’s a thickish BROTH.  Some families enjoy it thicker and others like it more watery.  If you feel it’s too watery, just let it boil with the lid open and allow the soup to reduce.

SEASON!  This is a somewhat salty soup.  So keep tasting as you’re going along. Seasoning at almost each step, but taste first!

The chorizo normally rests at the bottom of the soup, so give it a good whirl when dishing up.

If you’d like, cook and then roughly mash the potatoes beforehand.  Once you’ve added the spinach, you can then add the mash and control the thickness of the soup that way too.

And let me reiterate……… If you can’t find CHORIZO sausage, DON’T make it at all.  This makes our inner Maria extremely upset.


Sandy Nouwens


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