Caldo Verde
Recipes > Soups > Caldo Verde

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Recipe Checklist:
Ingredients
  • 2 T Refined Olive Oil
  • 2 Yellow Onions (Small Dice)
  • 4 Garlic Cloves (Minced)
  • 2 lb Red Creamer Potatoes (Washed & Quartered)
  • 8 cups Chicken Stock
  • 1 lb Pork Sausage (Bias Cut)
  • 1 lb Collard Greens (Prepped) (Rough Chopped)
  • ½ cup Flat Leaf Parsley (Rinsed) (Chopped)
  • ½ cup Cilantro (Rinsed) (Chopped)
  • ¼ cup Fresh Mint (Rinsed) (Chopped)
  • 2 T Crushed Red Chili Pepper (Optional)
  • Kosher Salt to Taste
  • Cracked Black Pepper to Taste
  • 16-24 Croutons (4-6 per serving)
Tools & Equipment
  • Cutting Board
  • Chefs Knife
  • Measuring Cup
  • Measuring Spoons
  • Masher
  • Medium Stock Pot
Estimated Time
1 hr 50 min
Yield
Serves 4-6
+ -

Before you begin making the Calo Verde recipe, the portion we call the "Method", you will have to prep your ingredients so that everything is on hand to complete your Mise En Place before the cooking commences. At Smart Kitchen, Preparation is the second of our 4 Levers of Cooking.

The most time consuming preparation step will be, if you elect to start from scratch, making the Chicken Stock. The flavor of homemade stock will make a big difference and creating Chicken Stock is very doable if you Organize and plan ahead. Smart Kitchen’s exercise on Making Chicken Stock explains how to go about it. If you elect to use store-bought Chicken Stock instead, this step will only take the time required to open the can or carton.

Preparation

The 2 Yellow Onions will have to be cut down to a Macédoine. Smart Kitchen’s Exercises on Peeling an Onion and Dicing an Onion should be helpful here. The Garlic Cloves should also be minced. Peeling Garlic and Mincing Garlic are also helpful lessons for this step. The Red Creamer Potatoes, a Waxy Potato, should be rinsed and then quartered with your Chef’s Knife. The Collard Greens should be rinsed and then destemmed, as you would do with any Destemming of Greens. Once the leaves are free of the stems, they should be Rough Chopped.

The Flat Leaf Parsley, Cilantro and Fresh Mint should all be rinsed before they are Chopped. The Pork Sausage should be thinly cut on the bias. If you think you can work quickly, you can delay this step until the Red Creamer Potatoes are in the Stock Pot and simmering.

The choice of an Olive Oil here is less important than it can be in other dishes or applications. We call for a Refined Olive Oil because it is being used as a Fat to Sauté, using High Heat, the Onions and the Garlic cloves. You will need a higher Smoke Point than you can get from an Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

*The addition of Red Chili Pepper is optional. 2 tablespoons of Red Chili Pepper should give you just the right amount of spice.

Finally, you should give some thought to using Croutons, or even cubes of softer Sourdough Bread, as your Garnish. We suggest placing 4-6 Croutons on top of the finished Caldo Verde, as a bit of Flair, the 4th of Smart Kitchen’s 4 Levers of Cooking.

Method

To begin the active phase, place a medium Stock Pot over Medium Heat. Pour in the Refined Olive Oil and let it heat up, until you can see “Legs” appear in the oil, which will let you know that it is hot enough. Once the oil is heated, add in the macédoine of Yellow Onion, the minced Garlic and optional Red Chili Pepper. Sweat the ingredients together until you can smell the Onions and Garlic release their Volatile Oils into the pot. The smell of Onions and Garlic will be an Olfactory Clue that it is time for more ingredients.

Next add in the quartered Red Creamer Potatoes, the Chicken Stock and the Kosher Salt and Cracked Black Pepper (to taste). Set your burner on High Heat and bring everything up to a Boil. Once a Boil is reached, reduce the heat to maintain a simmer until the Red Creamer Potatoes begin to fall apart. This should take about 30-40 minutes and will leave the Potatoes much easier to Mash. During the simmer, if you have not done so already, rinse and chop the Collard Greens, Flat Leaf Parsley, fresh Mint and set them aside for later. You can do the same for the bias cut Pork Sausage.

When the Red Creamer Potatoes are falling-apart-tender, use the Potato Masher in the Stock Pot to mash the Potatoes. Work slowly and cautiously to prevent spills, splashes and burns. When the Potatoes are nicely mashed and the soup has thickened, Whisk it (carefully) to break up any large clumps. Add in the Pork Sausage and simmer for 15 minutes until the Pork is cooked.

Next to go into the Stock Pot will be the chopped Collard Greens. Leave them in the simmering Caldo Verde Soup for another 10-15 minutes until the leaves soften, but are still slightly al dente. By this time all of the flavors should have incorporated and you can add in the chopped Flat Leaf Parsley, Cilantro, and fresh Mint. Give it a stir and then let everything settle.

Season to taste with some more Kosher Salt and Cracked Black Pepper.

Portion the Caldo Verde into soup bowls and optionally Garnish each serving with 4-6 Croutons. Serve the Caldo Verde warm. Alternatively, you can hold the Caldo Verde for 1-2 hours on Low Heat on the stove and then portion and serve as described above.

Another choice for your Organization, the first of Smart Kitchen’s 4 Levers of Cooking, is to turn off the heat under the finished Caldo Verde and let it stand at room temperature for an hour before putting it in the refrigerator. It should not go directly into the refrigerator because all of that pent up heat could lower the overall temperature of your refrigerator and put you other items into the Food Danger Zone for a dangerously long length of time. Properly tempered and held cold Caldo Verde should last in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. To serve the cold Caldo Verde, just reheat it on the stove in a pot, and then portion and serve as described above.