Caldo Verde (tr. “Green Broth”) is a classic Portuguese soup made from potatoes, chouriço sausage and finely shredded leafy greens, usually collards. It’s hearty, comforting and incredibly easy to make with very few ingredients.
This recipe takes the foundation for a traditional Caldo Verde and bends it ever so slightly to be both Whole30 and Paleo compliant. Instead of using the more common yellow potatoes, I substitute low-glycemic Japanese yams. It’s hard to find good-quality chouriço made without sugar or fillers in my neighbourhood so I substitute Spanish cured chorizo. I add some smoked paprika to the soup, which changes the colour of the broth to a golden-orange, but bumps up the same seasoning used in the sausage. As for the greens, I go back and forth between collard greens and kale. Both are excellent but collards are my absolute favourite.
What You Need For Whole30 Caldo Verde
- Japanese Yams: Traditionally, yellow potatoes are used to make Caldo Verde. Though potatoes of all kinds are Whole30 compliant, I originally developed this recipe to also meet Paleo guidelines and Japanese yams were the perfect fit. You can substitute any kind of white-fleshed sweet potato, or even cauliflower to keep it low-carb.
- Sausage: It’s not easy, but try to find a cured sausage that is sugar-free and made without preservatives. Palacios brand makes a very good, all-natural product that tastes great. You can order it online or try finding it in specialty shops near you.
You can use Spanish chorizo, Portuguese chouriço, or Portuguese linguiça. In each case, you’ll want to peel off the chewy, outer casing and slice the sausage into discs as thin as you can.
- Collard Greens: You can use kale if preferred, but I strongly recommend making this soup with collard greens. For best results, remove the stems and centre ribs and slice the collards as thin as humanly possible into long ribbons.
- White Onion: I like using a large white onion for this caldo verde. It’s slightly sweeter than yellow varieties, which balances the smokiness of the sausage and paprika.
- Garlic: Not all Caldo Verde recipes call for garlic, but I find that it adds a delicious depth of flavour to the soup. It all gets blended up with the onions and broth so don’t worry about chopping it up finely.
- Good Quality Chicken Broth: I like to use a combination of chicken broth and water to make my Caldo Verde. I find that too much chicken broth overpowers the flavour of the soup. But if you only use water, it falls a little flat.
Because this soup has so few ingredients, it’s crucial to use the absolute best quality chicken broth you can find. If it’s not homemade, I recommend Kettle & Fire. It’s made with pasture-raised, organic chicken bones, all organic ingredients and without any refined sugars, fillers, preservatives, colourings, flavourings or starches.
You can shop for Kettle & Fire broths online and use code PRIMALGOURMET for 20% OFF sitewide or find it in local stores.
- Smoked Paprika: This is optional, but to boost the smokey flavour in the sausage, I like to add a spoon of smoked paprika to the soup. It does change the colour of the broth, but that doesn’t bother me.
Caldo Verde – Whole30, Paleo
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large white onion sliced
- Kosher salt to taste
- 3 cloves garlic roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika optional
- 1 quart chicken stock
- 3 medium Japanese yams substitute yellow potatoes or any kind of white fleshed sweet potato
- 1.5 quarts water
- 1 pound collard greens stems removed and leaves very thinly sliced
- 8 ounces cured chorizo sausage casing removed and very thinly sliced, substitute chouriço or linguiça
- Freshly-cracked black pepper to taste
- Preheat a large stockpot over medium heat. Add the olive oil and heat until shimmering. Add the onions and season with a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and translucent, around 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 60 seconds. Add the smoked paprika, if using, and cook, stirring, 60 seconds.
- Add the chicken stock, yams and enough water to cover. Raise the heat to high, bring the soup to a steady simmer, cover with a lid and cook until the yams are completely fork-tender, around 10 minutes.
- Remove the pot from the heat and, using an immersion blender or regular blender, blend the soup until it’s completely smooth. If the soup is too thick, add more water or chicken stock to achieve a velvety consistency. Reduce the heat to a steady simmer, add the collard greens and chorizo and cook, stirring occasionally, until the collards are slightly soft, around 8 minutes. Taste for seasoning and adjust with salt and pepper as desired. Serve immediately.