Caldo Verde

Portugal’s Caldo Verde, known as “Green Broth,” originated in Minho, an area that includes the cities of Braga and Viana do Castelo. The soup is so popular, there’s even an annual festival dedicated to it in Irivo.

Photo: Brent Petersen

Caldo Verde is a simple soup made with potatoes, greens, onions, olive oil and seasoned with salt, pepper, and garlic. The greens are normally a sort of Portuguese Collard called Couve-galega, though Mustard Greens and Turnip Greens are also used. The greens are julienned into ribbons, which is especially useful since they can sometimes be a little fibrous.

Pre-shredded Couve-galega ready to make Caldo Verde (photo: Brent Petersen)

The soup is often topped with Chorizo (Portuguese Sausage) and served with a dense cornbread called Broa de Milho for dunking.

Besides the types of greens used, there are regional variations in Caldo Verde. Rye Bread or crusty white bread may be served with Caldo Verde instead of the usual Broa de Milho. Oftentimes Caldo Verde is topped with Chorizo, thought not always. Vegetarians should be aware that even if you get Caldo Verde without Chorizo, sometimes the broth is made with a ham hock. Also, the potatoes are often boiled with the Chorizo. Make sure you ask before ordering.

But, Em Carne Viva in Porto has a terrific vegan Caldo Verde. For regular Calde Verde in Porto, try O Caseirinho.

In Lisbon, many restaurants also have Caldo Verde on the menu, but why not get a bowl in the place where it originated?

For Caldo Verde in Viana do Castelo, Casa de Pasto Maria de Perre does a good job as does O Laranjeira Pensão Restaurante. But, unlike some other towns in the region, Caldo Verde isn’t as popular in Viana as some other places. That’s probably because seafood soup is so popular in Viana, so not every restaurant will have Caldo Verdo on the menu.

In Braga, Bem-me-quer has a nice Caldo Verde. But, there’s also several very good vegetarian restaurants serving Caldo Verde including Soul, Anjo Verde, and Gosto Superior.

Besides Portugal, Caldo Verde is often on the menu in places with large Portuguese populations like Toronto, Fall River & New Bedford, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and, of course, Brazil. One of the best places in the U.S. to get Caldo Verde is Tia Maria’s in New Bedford, MA.

About the Author

Brent Petersen is the Editor-in-Chief of Destination Eat Drink. He currently resides in Setubal, Portugal. Brent has written the novel “Truffle Hunt” (Eckhartz Press) and the short story collection “That Bird.” He’s also written dozens of foodie travel guides to cities around the world on Destination Eat Drink, including in-depth eating and drinking guides in Portugal for Lisbon, PortoSintraÉvoraBragaLouléAlmadaMonsaraz, and Batalha. Brent’s podcast, also called Destination Eat Drink, is available on all major podcasting platforms.

Author: Brent