A Caldo Verde soup (Portuguese Greens Soup), but made with watercress and spicy chorizo.
When I set about making my version of Caldo Verde, I somehow veered toward a more rustic version of the classic soup. I'm pretty sure it had something to do with the dreary weather out the window at the time.
For my soup, I didn't add a lot of stock, I didn't puree it all the way and I stirred lots of chorizo chunks in to the soup, instead of just using a bit for garnish. I used a bit less of the greens and let them wilt in the soup. It ended up being the perfect soup for a cool and rainy day. The beauty of this soup though is that it's delicious either way. I've included instructions in the recipe below for both versions.
Cook's Notes for Caldo Verde Soup
I think the biggest contributor to the fabulous flavour of this soup is that the chorizo is boiled with the vegetables, so it imparts it's flavour as the soup cooks. This is especially nice if you're a spice lover and you start with a hot chorizo. You'll end up with a soup that will warm you up on the coldest day!
What makes this soup Caldo Verde "ISH", is the use of watercress, instead of the more traditional collard greens or kale. I don't know about you, but I haven't had much experience with using watercress in recipes. I wasn't even sure if I'd ever seen it in my grocery store. Lo and behold though, there it was, neatly tucked in with the leafy greens. I have to say though, the watercress was lovely in this soup - delicate in both flavour and texture and honestly, a nice change from the tougher greens.
I wasn't able to find the Portuguese chourico sausage that Carla used, so I went with a hot, cured Spanish Chorizo. I loved the extra spiciness, but if you're not a spice lover, look for regular chorizo. Just be sure to get the dry cured variety, which is usually found in the deli section.
Caldo Verde Soup
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup onion (diced)
- 2 cloves garlic (diced)
- 6-8 oz Spanish dry cured Chorizo (or Portuguese Chourico sausage, cut in to 2 or 3 chunks)
- 1 1/2 cups carrots (diced (about 2 carrots))
- 4 cups potatoes (diced (about 3 potatoes))
- 4 cups chicken broth
- Salt and pepper (to taste)
- 1 bunch watercress (chopped)
- In a large Dutch oven or soup pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until it starts to soften. Add garlic and sausage chunks and cook, stirring, until garlic is fragrant, but not browned. Add carrots and potatoes and cook, stirring for a few minutes. Add chicken stock. Bring soup to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer 20-30 minutes until carrots and potatoes are tender. Remove sausage chunks to a plate.
- With an immersion blender or in small batches in a blender, puree the soup slightly, leaving a few small chunks. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Meanwhile, dice the sausage (you can save a few rounds for garnish if you like). Add the diced sausage to the pot and stir to heat.
- Just before serving, stir in the watercress and allow to wilt slightly and then spoon out soup in to bowls. Garnish with chorizo rounds and a bit of watercress.
- Notes: To make a smoother, thinner and elegant soup (perfect for appetizer soup), add an extra 1 to 1 1/2 cups of chicken broth to thin. Puree the soup completely, so no chunks are left. Add the chopped watercress to hot soup just before serving. Serve with a spoonful of diced chorizo as garnish.