Posh Caldo Verde (Kale Soup) | Recipes | Borough Broth

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Posh Caldo Verde (Kale Soup)

Caldo Verde is a rich kale broth soup with chorizo and chilli. About 15 years ago, I helped a friend of mine sell veg from his nursery. Shifting vegetables back then, especially unusual ones, was hard work. Kale, despite its wonderful taste and indigenousness, was alien to most people ('kale? what's it like?' 'well it's sort of like chard' 'what's chard?'). Then we tried selling it by the Italian name, cavolo nero, and we couldn't shift enough of it. It was then that a customer first mentioned caldo verde to me. Traditionally this was a humble Portugese soup for farm workers. Nowadays, cuts of meat or sausage (usually chorizo) are added to the soup to give it a little oomph, but ideally it should be nothing more than garlic, potatoes and kale. With the bone broth however, I think it turns in to a real show stopper. It can also be a handy way to use up any other veg you have lying around. It's really quite simple, and ready to eat in under an hour. Kale is what really makes the dish, you'll find shredded kale in most shops these days, but ideally, you want what the Portuguese use, a thick black kale which is super tasty. For chorizo, an authentic Iberian sausage is best, but if not a regular supermarket one will do- when cooked in the soup I find even the naffest chorizo turns tender and tasty.

Serves: 4
Cooking time: 50-60 minutes


* indicates optional ingredients

  • 400g kale, cut into strips with the thickest parts of the stalk taken out

  • 1 large onion, sliced into small pieces

  • 3-4 cloves garlic, crushed under a knife and cut finely

  • 600g potatoes, cut into small cubes (a potato good for mashing- Desiree or Maris Piper)

  • 1 pouch (324g) organic chicken bone broth

  • 500ml water

  • olive oil

  • 1/2 tsp paprika

  • salt and pepper

  • * a small amount of crushed chilli or a few chilli flakes, just to add a little heat

  • *100-150g chorizo, rather than cut it into coins I prefer to tear it into pieces

  • *parsley, chopped

  • *any other veg cut into small pieces e.g. green beans, broccoli, carrots, chard, brassicas etc.


  1. In a large pan, fry the onion and garlic in the oil for a few minutes until soft and slightly translucent. Add any other veg you may have, and fry for a few minutes till soft.
  2. For the chorizo, I prefer to fry in a separate pan first, just lightly so some of the oil comes out, then add to the pan without the oil. Alternatively, you can add the chorizo straight in and fry the veg in all that lovely chorizo oil.
  3. Fry this again for a few minutes and add the paprika and chilli. Now add the water and stir in the chicken broth. Cook for ten minutes then drop in the kale and season to bring out the flavours.
  4. Cook on a low heat for 20-30 minutes, if it starts getting too thick add a little water, but don't water it down too much, you want the stock to be as rich as possible (the beauty of the bone broth is you don't need to cook it for as long as it has already done all the hard work for you).
  5. Once it has finished and turned into a lovely rich stock, bash the potatoes around a bit so little bits of potato swirl around in the soup which gives it a slightly creamy richer texture. Add a handful of chopped parsley (optional) and season a little more if required.
  6. Enjoy with a lovely bottle of vino and a side of mates.

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