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Portuguese Caldo Verde-Style Soup

This easy Portuguese Caldo Verde-Style Soup is packed with potatoes, kale, and smoked kielbasa in a delicious broth. It’s comforting, filling, and full of amazing flavor!

In Portuguese, Caldo Verde means “green broth” or “green soup.” The green comes from the leafy greens in the broth (in this case, kale). And let me tell you…this is such an awesomely delicious way to eat some kale!

Now, before we go any further, I need to say one thing.

I am not Portuguese, like not even a little bit, and so I am not claiming, in any way, that this is an authentic Caldo Verde recipe. In fact, I’ll straight up say that it’s definitely not, which is why I called it Caldo Verde-Style Soup.

Sometimes you just don’t have access to specialty/regional ingredients, or maybe you don’t care for a particular ingredient, so you make do with what you can get or what you like!

So let’s just say this is a Polish-American-Portuguese fusion soup that is very similar to traditional Caldo Verde. It’s the way I like to make it, and it’s super yummy, and I really hope you try it because it’s SO GOOD!

bowl of caldo verde-style soup with a spoon next to a pot of soup

This recipe covers all the basics of Caldo Verde: potatoes, greens, broth, and smoked sausage. Here’s how my version is a little different:

  1. The potatoes. In the original, the potatoes are mashed entirely or almost entirely to make the soup thicker and creamier. I prefer some chunks of potato and a more brothy soup, so I crush less than half of the potatoes.
  2. The greens. Some recipes say that collard greens are what should be used. I can’t always get them (and honestly, I don’t love them anyway), so I use kale instead.
  3. The sausage. Portuguese chaurico (not Spanish chorizo, which is different) or linguica are what would normally be used, but I usually can’t get those either, so I use smoked kielbasa.

The bottom line: If you’re looking for a tasty and filling soup recipe to warm you up on these cold winter days, you just found it!

ladle of caldo verde-style soup over a pot of soup

Ingredients you need:

  • Olive oil
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Dry sherry
  • Roasted chicken base (such as Better Than Bouillon (#notsponsored))
  • Water
  • Potatoes (I use Yukon Gold)
  • Smoked kielbasa
  • Fresh kale

Here’s a look at how to make Portuguese Caldo Verde-Style Soup:

two images showing the steps to make Portuguese caldo verde-style soup
two images showing the steps to make Portuguese caldo verde-style soup
two images showing the steps to make Portuguese caldo verde-style soup
tw0 images showing how to make Portuguese caldo verde-style soup
two images showing how to make Portuguese caldo verde-style soup

Tips & Tidbits:

  • Use dry sherry rather than a sweet sherry. If you don’t have sherry, you can use madeira or a drier white wine such as Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc.
  • If you’re not into cooking with wine, just leave it out.
  • The red pepper flakes add a nice little amount of warmth to the soup (the ¼ teaspoon doesn’t make it very hot/spicy at all). Add less, more, or none at all depending on the heat level you prefer.
  • I use low-sodium roasted chicken base in this recipe because the smoked kielbasa can sometimes be on the salty side. In fact, don’t add any salt until you taste the soup at the very end of cooking, because you may not need any at all.
  • You can use 6 cups of your favorite chicken broth instead of the roasted chicken base and water (homemade chicken bone broth would be totally awesome!). When I don’t have homemade, I prefer using roasted chicken base over canned or boxed broth because I think it has more flavor.
  • Make sure to remove the thick stems from the kale, as they can be very tough, even when cooked. To cut down on prep time, use bagged stemmed, chopped and washed kale (this is what I use most of the time!).
  • Frozen chopped kale also works. Use about 2 cups (the 4 cups of fresh kale will cook down to about 2 cups) or however much you want in your soup.
  • This soup is excellent the day you make it, but it’s also even better the next day. Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 to 4 days.
  • You can freeze this soup, but just know that the potatoes will probably be just a little more mushy once you thaw it and reheat it.
spoonful of caldo verde-style soup over a bowl of soup

Serve up your soup with some crusty bread or a salad (or both!) for a winner of a dinner or lunch!

I hope you try this recipe for Portuguese Caldo Verde-Style Soup and love it as much as I do. Thanks for visiting today!

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Portuguese Caldo Verde-Style Soup

This easy Portuguese Caldo Verde-Style Soup is packed with potatoes, kale, and smoked kielbasa in a delicious broth. It's comforting, filling, and full of amazing flavor!
5 from 1 vote
Print Recipe Rate/Comment Pin Recipe
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 6
Calories: 280
Author: Michelle / Now Cook This!

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups diced onions
  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 tablespoon total)
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste, optional
  • ¼ cup dry sherry
  • 6 teaspoons low-sodium roasted chicken base, such as Better Than Bouillon
  • 6 cups water
  • 5 cups peeled and chopped Yukon Gold potatoes, ½ to ¾ inch pieces, about 2½ pounds potatoes
  • 4 cups stemmed and chopped fresh kale
  • ½ pound smoked kielbasa, cut into quarter-moons ⅛ to ¼ inch thick
  • salt and pepper, to taste (optional)

Instructions

  • In a large pot over medium heat (I use a 7-quart pot), sauté the onions in the olive oil, stirring occasionally, until they begin to soften, about 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and sauté, stirring constantly, for another minute.
  • Add the dry sherry; simmer for a minute or two until the liquid has mostly evaporated.
  • Add the roasted chicken base, water, and potatoes. Stir until the chicken base is dissolved.
  • Bring to a boil; reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
  • With a potato masher, crush some of the potatoes in the soup. This will thicken the soup slightly. Don't mash too many of the potatoes, as you still want most of them to stay whole (I crush less than half).
  • Add the kale and smoked kielbasa to the soup. Cover and simmer until the kale is soft, about 10 minutes.
  • Taste and season with salt and pepper, if needed. Note: I find that, often, there is enough salt in the chicken base and kielbasa that I don't need to add any salt.

Notes

  • You can use 6 cups of your favorite chicken broth instead of the roasted chicken base and water.
  • This soup is excellent the day you make it, but it’s also even better the next day. Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 to 4 days.
  • You can freeze this soup, but just know that the potatoes will probably be just a little more mushy once you thaw it and reheat it.
Did you try this recipe? I’d love to see it!Mention @nowcookthis or tag #nowcookthisrecipes!

Recipe adapted from Cuisine At Home.

Recipe Rating




Carole M Giles

Thursday 18th of February 2021

I am not a kielbasa fan, but this soup is very good.

Michelle

Thursday 18th of February 2021

Thank you, Carole! I'm so happy you enjoyed the soup (even with the kielbasa!).