Caldo verde (Portuguese cabbage soup)

Cabbage soup doesn't need to be boring. Spice it up with smoky chorizo and comforting potatoes.

Caldo verde (Portuguese cabbage soup)


Makes one large pot
Prep time
Less then 30 minutes
Cooking time
30 minutes to 1 hour


  • 2 nice fat onions, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 60ml /2fl oz olive oil
  • 1 chorizo sausage
  • 6 large potatoes
  • 1.5 litres /2 pints
  • 13fl oz good vegetable or chicken stock
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • large bunch of greens or cabbage
  • smoked paprika and olive oil, for dressing


  1. First, drink some port - it helps you get in the mood!

  2. Sweat the onions and garlic in the olive oil until translucent.

  3. Chop the sausage into small chunks and add to the onion.

  4. Sweat the onions and sausage for a few more minutes and then add the diced potatoes. They will absorb all the flavour from the sausage.

  5. Transfer the mixture to a large pan, add the stock, seasoning and bay leaves, and cook until the potatoes are soft.

  6. Meanwhile, very finely chop the cabbage (alternatively, buy a cabbage-shredding machine from the market as we did).

  7. When the potatoes are ready, mash them into the broth to make a thick base. Blanch the greens in boiling water for one minute to take off any bitterness, drain, then add to the simmering broth.

  8. Add as much cabbage as the broth will support - if you want heavy soup add loads of greens, if lighter, add less.

  9. Simmer for a few minutes. The soup will go the colour of jade.

  10. Mix the smoked paprika with some olive oil to make a dressing, and swirl this red magic into the vibrant green soup.

  11. Serve with some heavy country bread, and wallow in praise!