As is well-documented, the Portuguese were known for travelling the world and bringing back to Europe produce, together with recipes and new ways of preparing food.
It is generally accepted that the word soup derives from the Germanic word suppa, meaning “bread soaked in liquid”. There are numerous Portuguese soups that have surprised diners with bread placed at the bottom of the bowl, açorda being just one example.
The most well-known of Portuguese soups is probably Caldo Verde from the Minho region, in northwest Portugal. Translated as green broth, Caldo Verde has a potato base (therefore it cannot be truly classed as a broth) and it is not really green but has “greens” in it.
The soup is typically served during Portuguese celebrations and is usually presented in an earthenware bowl.
Today, Caldo Verde is available in most restaurants serving traditional Portuguese food. It is easy to make and is a soup you can enjoy wherever you are in the world. So go on, give it a go.
1 onion, chopped
2 clove of garlic, crushed
2 litres of water
200ml olive oil
500g potatoes, cubed
400g kale or similar leafy greens
Salt and black pepper
Place the water in a saucepan. Add the potatoes, onion and garlic together with half the olive oil. Bring to the boil, cooking the ingredients for approximately 30 minutes or until everything is well cooked.
Meanwhile, slice the leafy greens very finely.
Once the potato/onion mixture has cooked, purée it using a hand blender or liquidiser.
Place back on the hob and add the thinly sliced leafy greens cooking for a further 5-10 minutes, depending on how well cooked you like them.
Slice the chouriço and add to the soup mixture when the greens are cooked, together with the rest of the olive oil.
Add salt and pepper to taste. Bring to boil, then serve with crispy bread.
~ If you enjoy a stronger flavour of chouriço, add two or three slices at the beginning of the recipe and purée with the other ingredients.
~ Alternatively, you can fry the chouriço slices, adding them to the bowl of soup once served.
~ You can also blend the ingredients less if you prefer more texture in your soup.
Image courtesy of Caldo Verde | Chef Continente