Caldo Verde is a traditional Portuguese soup that’s made in one pot. And, it takes about half an hour to cook. It’s filling, spicy, and great for cold weather. The usual way to make this is with kale and linguiça, which is a garlicky pork Portuguese sausage. Except, I don’t like kale. Some use collard greens instead, or cabbage. I didn’t have cabbage, but I did have spinach. As far as I’m concerned, that works! It’s still a bitterish green and it takes less time to cook too.
This is good right away, but like many soups, it’s even better after it sits for a day or two. I’ve cut the recipe from six servings to about 2 or 3, depending on how hungry you are.
It does come with a few minor cooking decisions. You can cut the greens up roughly, or chop everything up into fine ribbons. And, you can either purée the soup, or leave it as is. I went with rough chopping and skipped the purée this time, mostly because I was feeling lazy. The last thing I made was pizza and I somehow got the tomato sauce everywhere: the stove, the floor, the cabinets, the sink. I’ve had enough cleanup to last me for a while, so I didn’t want to clean one extra thing (even a stick blender).
Also, if you can’t find the Portuguese sausage, any other garlicky sausage will do just fine.
Caldo Verde Soup Substitutions and Variations
- Use a mixture of baking potatoes (Russett) and Yukon Gold potatoes for different textures
- If you don’t have the linguiça, try chorizo or andouille, merguez, or any garlicky sausage you have; even pepperoni in a pinch
- Try it with cabbage (or kale) if you prefer
- Skip the sausage entirely, replace the chicken broth with vegetable broth and make it vegetarian. If you want it vegan, use olive oil instead of butter.
More Sausage and Spinach Recipes