Whew! After last week’s complicated individual beef Wellington recipe, I had to find something simple for this week. All that deliciousness was a lot of work, but good food doesn’t have to be difficult. Soups and stews can be a nice, easy way to prove that point. This Portuguese Caldo Verde Soup has been on my radar for a while, but I have been hesitant to make it because my husband doesn’t like sausage all that much. Then I caught him eating the rest of my sausage stromboli takeout and that went right out the window! So this week we’re having soup made with Portuguese sausage, potatoes, and a few other goodies. I’m ready to start cooking, are you?
Portuguese Caldo Verde Soup – A rustic sausage potato and kale soup with bold flavor and chunky texture. This slightly creamy version is so enticing, you’ll want to make it again and again!
I rarely cook with sausage, so I wasn’t sure how easy it would be to find chouriço. It turns out that my local grocery store stocks it in a 1-pound package for $6.49. And the best part was it comes in hot–my husband and I are spicy food lovers, so this was perfect for us. But even if you can’t find chouriço or linguiça, you should be able to find chorizo. It’s delicious and has a similar texture that should work well in caldo verde.
Once I had the right sausage, I went searching for the sherry. It’s not something I ever drink, and I only keep cooking sherry around. The local grocery store does have a decent wine selection (or maybe it looks that way, I’m not a wine person), but they didn’t have much of a sherry selection. But I’m cooking with it, not drinking it, so I wasn’t going to get picky. I went with Fairbanks medium-dry for $6.79.
All I had on hand was the smoked paprika and olive oil. Everything else was typical grocery store fare and easy to find, but I wasn’t sure exactly what kind of white beans to use. I went with cannellini, and they worked out nicely.
There were only three steps to this recipe, so it was pretty easy to make as you can imagine. The instructions do say to use a 6-quart pot, but I got away with a 5.3-quart cast iron pot. It had plenty of room, thank goodness!
Here is how my time broke down:
- 12 minutes to prep (vs. 10 minutes listed)
- 33 minutes to cook (vs. 18 minutes listed)
- 45 minutes total (vs. 28 minutes listed)
The recipe listed a total time of 28 minutes, but it took me much longer. The prep work was only 2 minutes more than listed, but the cooking time was the hold-up. It took a while to bring the soup to a boil at Step 2, and that was really what slowed things down. I don’t think time to bring the soup to a boil was included in the cooking or prep time.
The good news is caldo verde soup only requires some basic cooking techniques. My vegetable peeler did come in handy for the potatoes, but a simple paring knife would have also worked. I also used my zester for fresh lemon zest, but a grater would also work.
I prefer fresh zest, but you can substitute dried lemon zest or juice. You can buy dried lemon zest in the spice aisle. The general rule is 1 teaspoon dried lemon zest is equivalent to the zest of 1 fresh lemon. Lemon juice can also be substituted for zest. One lemon makes about 1 tablespoon of zest, so you would need 6 tablespoons of lemon juice for this recipe.