Healthy eating: Enjoy a taste of Portugal in this nutrition-packed soup

Caldo Verde

PCC culinary instructor Tiego Freitas was born in Brazil but his father comes from Braga, Portugal. He grew up speaking Brazilian Portuguese, but is starting to teach himself to speak Portuguese from his father’s homeland. He and his wife hope to move to Braga and open a small restaurant.  I recently assisted Tiego with his “Taste of Portugal” cooking class at PCC. He taught everyone how to make an iconic Portuguese soup that is perfect for welcoming the fall season. Tiego learned this recipe from his father (who learned it from his mother).

Right now, greens (either kale or collard) are abundant in the market. Both kale and collard greens are high in vitamins K and A, as well as antioxidants and minerals such as calcium and iron. Both are also low in calories and high in fiber. While traditionally this soup is not vegetarian, you can make it with all vegetable broth and eliminate the chorizo from the recipe. It comes together very quickly so that you can have it on the table in less than an hour!

Boa comida!

Caldo Verde: Portuguese Green Soup

Serves: 4 | Preparation time: 10 minutes | Cook time: 30 minutes


1/4 cup (2 ounces) extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for garnish (5 ounces) — about 1 cup
Portuguese or Spanish chorizo, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
1 small Spanish onion, sliced
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 garlic clove, sliced
3 medium Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
2 cups (16 ounces) cold water
2 cups (16 ounces) chicken broth or vegetable broth
8 ounces (about 2 cups) kale or collard greens, stems removed, leaves chopped
1 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper


-In a medium-sized Dutch oven over medium heat, heat the oil.
-Add the chorizo and cook until lightly browned on both sides, 3 to 5 minutes.
-Using a slotted spoon remove the sausage to a colander, drain well.
-Add the onions to the Dutch oven, season with salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and translucent.
-Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes more, until fragrant.
-Stir in the potatoes, add the water and broth, and bring soup to a boil.
-Reduce the heat so the soup gently simmers.
-Cook until the potatoes are tender, 10 to 20 minutes.
-Add the kale to the soup and simmer until tender, 3 to 5 minutes.
-Remove from the heat and let soup cool slightly.
-When the soup is cool enough to handle, purée using a blender or a stick/immersion blender.
-Season with more salt, if needed, and white pepper.
-Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with slices of chorizo and extra olive oil.
-Serve with a loaf of crusty, hearty bread!

— By Deborah Binder

Deborah Binder lives in Edmonds with her family. She loves to cook from scratch using produce from the gardens she created and maintains with her husband. She attended culinary school on the East Coast and focused on desserts, pastries and bread. She’s worked for restaurants and caterers in the front and back of the house (kitchen) on both coasts. Her current interest in food is learning to eat for health and wellness, while at the same time enjoying the pleasures of the table. Deborah loves experimenting and developing new recipes. As Julia Child once said, “Everything in moderation including butter.” Deborah can be contacted at


  1. Having lived in Portugal for many years, I always enjoyed Caldo Verde. Now I sometimes make it with sweet potatoes for an even healthier meal. You can get the Spanish chorizo at PCC (mild) and I’ll often serve it fried in its own grease (removed) as a nibble before a meal.
    Thank you Deborah for your articles and recipes.

  2. This looks really good! I plan to try it, but will use other sausage than chorizo for health reasons. Probably Aidel’s chicken sausages with gruyere (really good!). Having lived in Brazil and traveled in Portugal, I’m ready to see more recipes from Tiego and his esposa! Muito obrigado! — Cliff

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