Thursday, 10 September 2015

Caldo Verde

It may not have escaped your notice that I was unable to leave Ultracomida empty-handed last week. Olives, sliced meats and some cooking chorizo which, in my defence, was already on the shopping list.

My love affair with chorizo continues, It may no  longer be the darling of the food scene, trends move on of course (unless it's burgers) but I am (as I never hesitate to remind you) firmly of the opinion that chorizo is one of the finest things to grace this good earth.

And on a late summer afternoon, the sun warm, but the light removed of the harshness of hotter days, lending a lovely mellow glow to proceedings, chorizo is the perfect addition to a soup. This isn't too thick and chunky to feel wintry, more sustaining and likely to contributing a feeling of well being to your soul when you know you have more paint to apply to a small girl's bedroom - or some such travail...

I found the original recipe in my slow cooker book, which tells me this is Portuguese in origin, although the name sounds distinctly Italian. Indeed, Google translate thought it was Italian too - green soup. Ironically didn't have the time to make it in the slow cooker, and so made it on the hob. Also, despite the addition of the cabbage at the end, this looked more like zuppa arancione - or sopa laranje (orange soup - whether Italian or Portuguese - what with the spicy chorizo and carrot). But I like the sound of Caldo Verde, so caldo verde it shall be. Just remember that this isn't a soup that you whizz up, so make sure you chop the veg into suitably small pieces.

Caldo Verde

A good slug of olive oil
2 onions, finely chopped
2 fat cloves of garlic, also finely chopped
3 medium sized carrots, peeled and finely diced
150g cooking chorizo, peeled if necessary and diced
500g potatoes - I used little baby potatoes that had been growing in the compost heap, of all places - diced into appropriate sized chunks
1 teaspoon of smoked paprika - I used my favourite, Chinata hot smoked paprika
1.2 litres hot chicken stock
125g sweetheart or savoy cabbage, finely shredded.

Heat the olive oil in a large pan, then gently fry the onions for 5 minutes or so until starting to soften.

Add the garlic, carrots, chorizo, potatoes and paprika and cook for a few minutes more.

Pour in the hot stock, season, bring to the boil and simmer gently for 20-25 minutes until the potato is cooked. 

About 10 minutes before the end of cooking, add the shredded cabbage into the pan to cook.

Serve, slurp and feel restored.


  1. Late summer, autumn or winter - that soup would do just fine for me. Especially with the cabbage added. For some reason at my advanced age I've finally realised that cabbage (preferably with some fine spicy things alongside) is a very good thing.

    1. I like cabbage too and surprisingly, my 9 year old can't get enough of it. In fact, I remember being in hospital with my son when he was having some of his chemo. All the children had their own particular food cravings due to the steroids they had to take, but one that surprised me the most was watching a little girl stuffing down hospital cooked cabbage as if her life depended on it, it's a delicious soup. In fact, I think I might make it again, later.


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