Portuguese food

The food of Portugal is rich, & has a depth of intensity just like its people.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Spinach & Potato Soup - Caldo Verde

As winter is drawing to a close & spring is on the horizon I thought I'd get in as many soups into the blog as possible.
What can I say about this soup, it's THE most popular soup in all of Portugal, the soup that says, yes I'm Portuguese!
Literally translated this soup means Green broth,which doesn't sound that appealing, it's more of a thick hearty potato, spinach & chorizo soup, fantastic for winter.
This soup originated in the north of Portugal, the Minho province, the weather here is cold during winter & potatoes are a staple of this area.
I have a theory that the soup pays homage to it's country of origin, the soup looks very much like the green hills of this area & also has the colour of the deep green of the Atlantic ocean.

I'm always featuring the food of the Algarve, which as many of you know is where my parents are from, so it's great that I can feature a northern dish, my husbands family is in the next province over which is still part of the north.
This area is beautiful with it's lush vegetation & historic cities.

Traditionally this soup is accompanied with the bread of this region which is Broa a kind of cornbread,  a very filling & hearty bread.
In Portugal Kale is used but here is Australia we don't have kale so I always use Silverbeet spinach.

Serves 6 people
  • 3 medium brown onions,chopped in small dice
  • 6 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 850g potatoes, peeled & chopped
  • 2 lt water
  • 1 tab salt
  • 2 chorizo ( weighing 30g ea) skin removed & added whole
  • 2 bunches silverbeet spinach, washed thoroughly
1. In a deep heavy set pot add olive oil on a medium heat & saute the onions & garlic, cook till translucent with no colour.

2. Add the sliced potatoes , water, salt & the whole chorizo.
Bring to the boil then reduce the heat to a low/medium heat, till the potatoes are cooked, 40 min.

                      Silverbeet Spinach

3. While the soup is cooking clean the silverbeet well removing any dirt.
Remove the stalk from the leaf, discard the stalk.
Roll 2 leaves together into a cigar shape & with a sharp knife shred the leaves as thinly as possible.

4. Once the potatoes are cooked, remove the chorizo from the pot & slice into thin slices & set aside. Then blend the soup with a hand mixer  or a blender.

5. Once the soup is blended add the silverbeet  & the sliced chorizo & cook on a low heat for 20 min. Drizzle a bit of olive oil onto the soup if you like.

Broa (Corn Bread)
  • 14g dried yeast
  • 200ml lukewarm water
  • 1 tab olive oil
  • 1 tea salt
  • 1 cup polenta
  • 3 cups bread flour
1. Sprinkle the yeast into a bowl & add the lukewarm water then add the olive oil, salt & the polenta & bread flour.

2. Combine all the ingredients together, into a large ball.

 3. Shape the dough mixture into individual balls, the mix makes 5 med to large rolls.

 4. Bake the rolls at 180 degrees for 30 min.

  • When making the soup, I like to add the chorizo to the potato broth as this imparts the flavour of the chorizo & adds extra flavour.
  • You can add extra water to the soup if it becomes too thick.
  • No need to knead the corn bread or rest it, you can just basically put it all together, shape it & bake it.

    Towns in the Minho province

    The beautiful lush vegetation I spoke about

    A historic city


Anonymous said...

Nice soup,I've tried this before.I love soup as well on could days.

belnboo said...

I like the pictures showing Portugal.

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

This looks absolutely delicious! :D And I love the simple no knead rolls to accompany it too! :)

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